Major parties back co-ops and mutuals for nation building

05 May 2022

BCCM advocacy has secured inclusion of co-ops and mutuals in Labor’s proposed $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund.

In a letter to the BCCM, Labor has committed that the fund will ‘have the flexibility to arrive at the most suitable investment arrangements with firms – including cooperatives and mutuals – such as through loans, guarantees and equity, including Mutual Capital Instruments and Cooperative Capital Units…The investment arrangements to be set by an incoming Albanese Labor Government will ensure that co-operatives and mutuals will be able to play a part in this important nation-building project.’

Building on recognition of co-ops and mutuals in the ALP Policy Platform for the past two election cycles, co-ops and mutuals are an important part of Labor’s policy offering across a range of portfolios.

Earlier this week it was announced, if elected, Labor will invest $39.3 million matched by the NRMA to deliver a national rollout of EV charging stations, recognising the benefit of partnering with a mutual for vital nation-building infrastructure.

Labor’s community battery and housing policies also present opportunities for growth in community-owned co-ops.

Since forming in 2013, the BCCM has built recognition and policy support across the political spectrum for co-ops and mutuals.

During this term, the Coalition Government has recognised the role of co-ops and mutuals as partners in meeting the nation’s most pressing challenges. BCCM advocacy has ensured co-ops and mutuals are eligible for the Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative, are exempt from the Franchising Code, and have been supported with Commonwealth funding for industry-driven co-operative education and development programs in the agriculture and social care sectors.

Whoever wins the election on 21 May, the co-operative and mutual movement will be recognised in the new Parliament as a vital and trusted partner in Australia’s economic and social flourishing and worthy of policy support.

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