A WAREHOUSE at Pole 13 will help to keep more money on Groote Eylandt.
The island’s economy is worth $6 million a year but the money has never benefited traditional owners.
Instead it went to paying inflated prices to businesses owned by non-Anindilyakwa people.
The opening of the ‘Royalty Shopper’ warehouse has seen all that begin to change.
Traditional owners can get an advance on their royalty payments to buy items imported in bulk at factory prices and sold at cost from the warehouse.
ALC chief executive Mark Hewitt said the warehouse stocked items such as bicycles, tyres, batteries, and household goods.
“For example, we sold 100 bicycles in two weeks,” Mark said. “Tyres can now be bought at half the price of what was available on island.”
Mark said an electronic system was being set up so goods could be ordered by phone or ID card and delivered to homes.
Royalty Shopper is run by ARAC and managed by Amingarra, both local Aboriginal-owned businesses.
A fulltime warehouse manager and local staff are employed.
A part of the warehouse will be used as a car service centre for community vehicles, employing local apprenticeships.