Blueprint for an enterprising NSW 2022

20 October 2022

The BCCM has launched its policy blueprint for the NSW election. The blueprint calls on all political parties to commit to four measures that will support the growth of co-operatives and mutuals in the State:

  • Create a co-operatives and mutuals unit in an industry-focused department
  • Appoint a Minister for co-operatives and mutuals in that department
  • A New South Wales co-operative and mutual business development plan
  • A single national regulator for co-operatives

Co-operatives and mutual enterprises (CMEs) help to build an economy that is as strong, resilient and inclusive as the people of New South Wales. They do this by mobilising the sense of collaboration and common purpose that exists between businesses and communities across the State.

The last few years have presented a series of unprecedented challenges to New South Wales, some natural and local, with others global or geo-political. The global pandemic and volatile trade with China have each highlighted the importance of building greater self-reliance and resilience into the economy. These years of turmoil have also opened up new opportunities, especially for regional communities, to secure a new period of economic and social development

We have learned three things from this experience:

  • New South Wales need more self-reliance – co-operative ownership guarantees local supply and control
  • New South Wales needs more local manufacturing and processing – CMEs are proven to create value and re-circulate it into their communities
  • The people of New South Wales expect more fairness – CMEs are equitable wealth sharers

The combined total gross revenue of the top 10 New South Wales co-operatives and mutuals is $8.17 billion. CMEs are crucial as a generator of jobs and incomes across many industries from financial services, healthcare and agriculture to retail, motoring and manufacturing. As facilitators of small and medium sized business profitability co-ops provide Victorians with access to competitively priced and high-quality goods. Co-ops and mutuals deliver essential services in housing, aged and disability care, Indigenous services, culture and the arts, childcare and education.

There now needs to be a new spirit of co-operation between the New South Wales people, its government and the co-operative and mutual movement. Working towards the common goal of strengthening the business operating environment will help to release the full potential of these people-centred businesses to do good for New South Wales and its people.

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