Store shuts its doors and leaves outback community hungry, claim

CLOSED SHOP: Residents of Kalkarindji have gone days without access to food or power cards after the local store shut its doors, it has been claimed. Picture: supplied.

CLOSED SHOP: Residents of Kalkarindji have gone days without access to food or power cards after the local store shut its doors, it has been claimed. Picture: supplied.

Residents of a remote NT community claim children are starving after their store unexpectedly closed its doors late last week.

The only shop in Kalkarindji, just north of the NT’s Tanami Desert, closed its doors late last week and residents have contacted the Katherine Times saying they were left without access to food. 

The remote community is located 480km south-west of Katherine, with about 500-600 residents.. 

“The shop has been shut since Thursday afternoon and it is the only shop where you can get food,” a Kalkarindji resident said. 

“We have old people and kids that can’t eat.

“I have had kids coming to my house begging for food.

The resident told Katherine Times the shop was closed after a group of youths allegedly broke in and damaged the inside of the store.

Another resident claimed the store was shut down on Saturday at the request of community elders to “teach locals a lesson”.

“It was shut it down until residents realised this is not okay, if the shop shuts down for one day people forget.

“Parents are not taking responsibility for their children's actions, so hopefully they will now.”

“The whole community is being punished for it,” the first resident said. 

“It is not acceptable, we are five days into this.

“The shop is fed up.”

The resident said the closest nearby store is a five hour drive north-east to Katherine.

“A lot of people do not have fridges so they usually buy their food on a daily basis,” the resident said.

“People buy $20, $50 or $100 worth of power on a power card, that is how they get their power.”

The Kalkarindji store is operated by the Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation who have been asked to provide the Katherine Times with a comment. 

Police are also yet to make a statement on the break in. 

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