30 April 2019
The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) today called for Australia’s major political parties to adopt a three-point plan outlined in the Blueprint for an Enterprising Nation. The Blueprint sets out specific policy steps to make Australia a more enterprising, connected and empowered society.
The BCCM calls on the parties to:
- Recognise and support the value of diverse forms of enterprise in the Australian economy
- Ensure that policy, legislation and regulation works to provide a fair business environment for co-operatives and mutuals
- Work with BCCM and its members to implement the objectives of its Blueprint for an Enterprising Nation
BCCM CEO Melina Morrison said, “As wage growth flatlines and living costs grow, it is essential that we find a way to deal workers back into the economy. It is time to think about how our economy can be better structured. The listed company model is not the only form a business can take.
“Since the last General Election, Co-operatives and Mutuals have enjoyed new and welcome bi-partisan political support at a federal level. Our sector has benefitted from the first new legislation in two decades, which is a great start in levelling the playing field for co-operatives and mutuals. It supports competition and choice, and strengthens socially-owned business.
“But there is much more to do to ensure that these important businesses can play a full role in our economy and society and help to build a fairer Australia,” Ms Morrison said.
“Australians are looking for ways to participate in the economy and strengthen their communities. For many years co-operatives and mutuals were the backbone of Australian communities. Rediscovering this transparent, member-owned business model can provide Australia with a model and a roadmap in an era in which we are all demanding more accountability of our institutions. It is now up to Government to support reforms that will give companies which are run by members for members a level playing field on which to compete.”
BCCM reminds the Federal Government that its policy, legislative and regulatory actions could enable these businesses to fulfill their potential and thereby deliver a wide range of public policy objectives, such as:
- Strengthen a homegrown, Australian owned business sector
- Spread wealth more broadly and fairly throughout the country
- Provide competition and choice for consumers in a range of markets especially those for essential goods and services
- Create diversity in business, which will act as a counterbalance to mitigate systemic risk to the economy
- Establish business strategies for a healthy, balanced economy with businesses that take a longer-term view
- Provide more than just an economic benefit to local communities by aiding social bonding and stakeholder empowerment>/li>
- Rebuild and maintain public trust in business