30 January 2023
The BCCM 2023 Pre-Budget submission has called on the Federal Government to explore how co-operatives and mutuals can help to deliver progress in priority policy areas such as domestic advanced manufacturing, food processing, agriculture and fisheries, particularly through the National Reconstruction Fund.
Co-operatives and mutuals create growth and fairness
The BCCM would like to engage directly with the Federal government to explore how co-ops and mutuals can help to deliver progress in priority policy areas, particularly focusing on improving productivity and quality work.
Building on the best global evidence, our proposals will enable existing and new co-operatives and mutuals to grow by establishing enterprise clusters that will deliver on the Government’s objectives of increasing domestic capacity to create long term quality employment and prosperity across all regions of Australia.
Building on Labor’s election commitment to be inclusive of co-ops and mutuals, the sector can bring real value to this national effort. This submission is presented in the following sections to show the level of ambition for our sector:
- What co-operatives and mutuals already deliver for Australia – Co-ops and mutuals are active in many industries that impact the lives for ordinary Australians. They strengthen competitiveness in markets and improve social and economic wellbeing by generating decent employment and contributing to sustainable development.
- A National Centre for Co-operative Business Growth – We need more and larger co-operatives and mutuals. By establishing a national centre for co-operative business growth, we can expand proven collaborative partnerships and place-based approaches that will help to fill in Australia’s ‘missing middle’ of domestically owned medium sized firms. It will:
- Build regional clusters for economic development around groups of strong co-ops and mutuals
- Grow medium and larger-sized firms, particularly in manufacturing and finance
- Assist SMEs to be more profitable and competitive through existing and new co-operatives
- Reforming the business environment to unleash the potential of co-operatives and mutuals – The policy, legislative, regulatory and business services environment play an important role in deciding the success or otherwise of businesses. Modest reforms would give Australia a world leading business environment that enables co-ops and mutuals to play their full role in the future Australian economy, in a way that reflects the best of the history and culture of Australian co-operative business.
In the 2023 Pre-Budget submission the BCCM makes two key recommendations to the Federal Government:
- Engage with and provide Federal funding to establish the National Centre for Co-operative Business Growth.
- Commit to providing a modern operating environment for co-ops and mutuals in accordance with global best practice by implementing ILO 193.
Read the BCCM’s 2023 Pre-Budget submission.