Wilcannia Supermarket upgrade

Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton (centre) with REDI.E Programs Manager Michael Cooper and General Manager Peter Gibbs.

Wilcannia residents are expected to save hundreds of dollars when the town’s main supermarket gets a renovation.

Half-a-million dollars will go into revamping the Wilcannia grocery store to provide locals with essentials that is set to increase food security in the community.

REDI.E Enterprises General Manager, Peter Gibbs, said this funding would allow them to upgrade and modernise the old store so people won’t need to travel long distances.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the community travel to Broken Hill regularly to buy groceries, but now they can buy everything they need from this store,” he said.

“We’re already being told of the difference it’s made, with many families able to save $200 a week just on fuel.

“Given the community has been through tragedy after tragedy, this store will transform the community and give them something they deserve.”

In January, REDI.E Enterprises took over ownership of the Wilcannia grocery store and is working with Outback Stores to provide healthier and cheaper groceries for the remote community.

Outback Stores will no longer have to complete the 400km round trip to

Broken Hill to purchase fresh food thanks to the $500,000 federal investment.

The funds will enable REDI.E Enterprises to purchase new equipment like fridges, freezers and cool rooms and install solar panels and new air-conditioning.

Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, announced that REDI.E Enterprises was awarded the funding under round one of the Strengthening Remote Communities – Food Security Grants.

“This store provides an essential service to the Wilcannia community. This funding will help ensure it continues to make a real difference, delivering food and other goods at reasonable prices,” Mr Coulton said.

“It means the people of Wilcannia will be able to more reliably buy what they want and have a better experience when doing so.”

The Food Security Grant Opportunity was a competitive grant process in line with Recommendation 13 from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs Report on food pricing and food security in remote Indigenous communities.

Projects funded under the grant round include infrastructure upgrades, cool and dry storage expansion, green energy systems and training for staff and management.

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