Co-operative and Mutual sector Chairs and Dr John Hewson with (left to right): Senator Nick Xenophon (inquiry co-proposer) (independent), Senator Chris Ketter (Committee Chair) (Australian Labor Party), and Senator Bridget McKenzie (inquiry co-proposer) (The Nationals). CEO of BCCM, Ms. Melina Morrison is second from the left in front row.
The Senate inquiry into cooperative, mutual and member-owned firms has just concluded. According to Mr Graeme Nuttall (quoted from EOA submission to the inquiry), 'all co-operatives are mutuals, but not all mutuals are co-operatives' (but as was pointed out by the Senate committee both are member-owned firms).
The Senate inquiry report into co-operative, mutual and member-owned firms has delivered in the words of the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) ‘a decisive roadmap to begin to level the playing field for the sector’. The report's 17 recommendations, addressing regulation, recognition, and education, provide a complete reform agenda to address the barriers to innovation, growth, and free competition for Australia's member-owned business sector.
Employee owned co-operatives are growing in stature globally and EOA looks forward to working with the BCCM to ensure that Australia develops a more diverse and participatory economy with co-ops and mutuals enjoying a level playing field.
More information about the inquiry can be found here (courtesy of BCCM).