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Community Infrastructure Projects

Over the last 14 years, CEQ has invested over $53m back into our communities through unfunded development projects including store renovations, new stores and other projects such as fuel and gas upgrades.

Keeping our stores modern, safe and suitably sized for each of our communities is incredibly important for us to be able to provide essential goods and services now, and into the future.

Featured on this page are some of the major infrastructure projects undertaken by CEQ since 2010.

Bamaga 'Store of the Future' - 2023

The IBIS Bamaga Supermarket ‘Store of the Future’, which began construction in September 2022, is a first-ever concept store marking a significant milestone in improving the shopping experience for remote First Nations communities.

New IBIS Bamaga Store features include:

  • bulk buys, Deadly Deals, and an exclusive product range not typically found in remote stores
  • cutting-edge eMarket kiosks for ordering additional product lines not available in-store
  • a self-service café with a range of nutritious and healthy meal options for the community, including freshly squeezed orange juice
  • active promotion of healthy food choices, including gluten free options, while removing all confectionery from the checkouts
  • instructional resources such as ‘Grow your own’ videos and books, enabling community members to cultivate their own produce
  • eco-friendly shopping trolleys made from recycled milk bottles
  • bakery, including fresh bread and rolls
  • supporting local First Nations businesses by providing merchandising space in store
  • free fruit for children
  • increased shop floor trading area of approximately 800 square metres – almost double the size of the previous store

<– Slide to see before and after –>

Erub (Darnley) Island - 2021

Carrying on the new-look store design first seen with the Nurupai store, the community on Erub welcomed their completely new store in August 2021. The new store includes living quarters on the upper level, increased trading area, new more efficient refrigeration, and expanded ranges such as hot chickens.

The old store was well known within IBIS and CEQ for the beautiful local murals decorating the exterior walls, but the store was growing weary, and the new build was a necessary progression.

With the old store demolished to make way for construction, the community shopped from our mobile temporary store. The temporary store is constructed of eight joining, pre-fitted shipping containers which can be moved, assembled, and stocked in about a week. Complete with air conditioning, refrigeration and all services a store needs, this is a re-usable, long-term solution for providing communities a place to shop while a new store is under construction.

<– Slide to see before and after –>

Nurupai (Horn Island) - 2020

The new Nurupai store opened on 29th October 2020 with a community gathering and official opening ceremony. The old IBIS store, located right next door, was undersized for the community, and the new store featured a trading area over 4 times larger than the old store.

Because the new store was built on vacant land, the old store traded right up to the opening of the new store, so there was no disruption to the community, and no added cost of utilising a temporary store.

<– Slide to see before and after –>

Mer (Murray Island) Extension - 2013

In late 2013, the Mer community welcomed a greatly improved store. The IBIS store on Mer underwent a significant renovation. Having outgrown the store, a significant extension was added to the existing store doubling the floor area, as well as new refrigeration units, new counters and other minor fixes.

The official opening took place a little later in 2014.

<– Slide to see before and after –>

Sue (Warraber Islet) - 2012

In July 2012 work commenced to add an extension to the Warraber IBIS store. The extension was required for two main reasons:

  1. To increase storage space which was desperately required
  2. To provide accommodation for visiting team members

With a growing range available in store, more storage space was required and the additional storage added by the extension eased pressure on the under-sized storage area. With more storage, the store can also stockpile emergency supplies such as water when required.

CEQ regularly conducts store visits for retail training, WH & S, stocktake and general maintenance. These visits often require multiple days in store and the provision of accommodation means team members and contractors can visit without having to travel to and from Thursday Island daily.

<– Slide to see before and after –>

Our People

Through our head office and network of 27 stores, CEQ employs almost 400 people, and we really are like family. Find out more about us and what it’s like to work for CEQ.

Learn more about our people