REVEALED: Community excited for big change to Woorabinda
AFTER decades of battling over-inflated prices, Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council has sacked its government-owned supermarket.
Mayor Cheyne Wilkie said the community was pleased with the decision, which saw the owner of Baralaba Foodworks awarded the tender.
The store had been run by Community Enterprise Queensland, a Queensland government body responsible for community services.
The organisation also services five other remote Aboriginal communities.
Prior to 2016, the store was operated by the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.
Cr Wilkie said prices in Woorabinda had been three to four times higher than supermarkets in other towns for more than 20 years that government contractors had operated the facility.
For years, residents have tried to boycott the Woorabinda store.
Cr Wilkie said people, often on low incomes and without vehicles, would pay $50 for a lift to Baralaba or up to $150 for a ride to Rockhampton or Biloela to buy cheaper groceries.
He said the community was "very excited" by the operation change.
"We felt ripped off and we needed to make sure people with no cars and people with low income ... that there was a shop that was a lot cheaper," Cr Wilkie said.
"We have a community that wants to move forward and we need to have these changes.
"It was a good decision," he said.
Cr Wilkie said issues about price were raised with CEQ several times and they had planned to drop the prices, but only after they got more people through the doors.
There were three submissions made during the tender process, with Baralaba Foodworks the successful candidate.