The packaged lamb chops came from Warwick Meats on Palm Island, a remote indigenous community in far north Queensland.
Palm Island local Sondra Gorringe took to Facebook to express her outrage at supermarkets marking up prices because residents had no other choice but to buy from them.
“The price on this meat … f**k that,” she wrote and included a photo of the frozen meat.
It’s almost double the average price of lamb chops sold in mainstream supermarkets.
Others have called it “exploitative” and a “rip-off”.
The store is operated by Community Enterprises Queensland (CEQ), a government body that provides goods and essential services to indigenous communities in Queensland.
On their website, CEQ states their stores provide fresh food and a “variety of other supermarket products at a fair price”.
However, Palm Island residents disagree.
On Friday, NITV News’ Queensland correspondent, Douglas Smith, went to a local Coles supermarket in Brisbane’s West End, where the price per kilogram of lamb chops was $21 compared with almost double the price of $38.99 on Palm Island.
Ms Gorringe was later interviewed by NITV News and said people “struggled to get by” on the island because of how expensive basic necessities were.
“For shampoo and conditioner, they’re about $9 each here and then in Townsville they’re only like three or four dollars,” Ms Gorringe said.
“It used to be community-owned but now we have CEQ and the prices are pretty high.”
As a mother, Ms Gorringe said she also struggled with the price of “Kimbies” (nappies) for her son.
“I remember when my son was wearing Kimbies, they were like 30 bucks for an 18 pack or 20 pack.”
Ms Gorringe said for around the same price at Coles or Woolworths in Townsville, you could buy a 108 pack of nappies.
Ms Gorringe now buys most of her groceries in Townsville because it’s cheaper.
“I work full-time so I’m OK and I normally get a $100 meat pack from Townsville and get it sent over on the plane and get groceries, but I reckon it would be hard for people still on Centrelink,” she said.
Ms Gorringe said food and other essential needs weren’t the only expensive costs on the island, with electricity also being expensive.
“We buy power cards here, so we don’t pay electricity bills. We buy power cards, and that’s about $50 a week for power,” she said.
Another local, Raymond Sibley, told NITV News he was especially concerned for people on Centrelink who didn’t work.
“You know, some of them might get like $200 to $300 a fortnight and they gotta buy their power cards,” Mr Sibley said.
“The price of gas has gone up like $270 for a bottle.
“I mean, when you’re living on that sort of income, how do you expect to make ends meet?
“You come to the shop yourself and have a look … it doesn’t go far.”