Rural Australians Face Limited Access and Higher Grocery Costs

Many Australians living in remote and rural areas face the challenge of limited shopping trips due to the vast distances to supermarkets. Sally Millar, a 31-year-old residing in a secluded northern Western Australian community with less than 30 inhabitants, highlights her monthly grocery shopping experience on TikTok. For her, reaching the nearest supermarkets, Coles and IGA, entails a six-hour journey. She conveyed to the high costs at IGA and the extended 8-hour drive to a Woolworths in Broome.

Similarly, Junee’s Rhiannon Druce expresses concerns over the lack of competitive pricing and declining product quality at her town’s sole IGA. She points out the noticeable difference in product freshness between local stores and those in Wagga. Items like strawberries spoil quickly, indicating potential prolonged transit times.

Associate Professor Andrew Grant from the University of Sydney emphasizes the tough decisions rural Australians face: choosing between higher prices close by or traveling extended distances for savings. The elevated costs in regional areas result from shipping expenses for the supermarkets and the lack of competition, preventing prices from dropping as they might in more urban settings.

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