The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals CEO Melina Morrison has contributed a chapter to the latest Connecting people with progress: securing future economic development report from CEDA.

The CEDA report is a pivotal document aimed at recalibrating the priorities for economic development to secure future progress that is tangible and relatable to the Australian community in line with the findings from CEDA’s report on community attitudes to economic growth.

In this report CEDA identified five key policy areas of critical importance that will underpin CEDA’s research agenda over coming years and the areas where CEDA will be looking to promote economic reform:

  1. Population
  2. technology and data
  3. workplace, workforce and collaboration
  4. critical services; and
  5. institutions

“In the 1980s Australia required major economic reform – there were big ticket items such as freeing Australia from the shackles of trade protection, floating the dollar and reforms in domestic markets.

In fact, these are the reforms that have underpinned the economic success we have enjoyed for the last 27 years, but they were reforms that can only largely be done once.

The next generation of reform will need to be different.

We need to reframe how we look at policy change. We need policy frameworks that will allow policy to constantly adapt and update to capitalise on emerging technology and ways of working and community expectations.

We can also no longer afford to have business in one silo and government in another, or for that matter, sectoral silos, pursuing their own interests assuming the community will simply accept what is delivered. This is failing to build the community trust required to deliver reform in the nation’s interests.

The five priority areas have been selected for two reasons. Firstly, they cover the areas that will matter most to future economic and social success.

Secondly, they interact in a way that means if we keep our focus on them as a group, we will deliver sustained economic growth and improved living standards in the areas that matter to the community.

Our expectation is that CEDA’s research and advocacy on key issues within each of these topics will evolve as critical issues emerge.  We will focus on areas where bringing business, government, academia and the community together – that is our membership – will drive better results. 

There will be challenges in changing how we tackle policy and emerging opportunities, but we faced fundamental reform challenges in the past and succeeded, as outlined in this report. We can and must do so again.”

BCCM’s chapter in the report focusses on the role of co-operatives and mutuals in human service delivery.

View the report summary, full report and infographic of the report.

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