14 October 2019
Following continuous advocacy from BCCM, BCCM is pleased to inform members that the Parliamentary Friends of Co-operatives and Mutuals group has been reconstituted to continue to represent our sector in the 46th Parliament of Australia.
The stated intention of this group is to “provide a non-partisan forum for MPs to meet and interact with mutual and co-operative organisations on matters relating to levelling the playing field for the sector.”
The first ever parliamentary friendship group representing the interests of our sector was formed in 2017, following the 2016 Senate inquiry into the sector.
The Group’s Co-Chairs throughout the last Parliament were Deputy Leader of the Nationals, The Hon Senator Bridget McKenzie and Dr Andrew Leigh MP of the Labor Party. Senator McKenzie now takes on new responsibilities as the Minister for Agriculture and can no longer act as Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends Group. Senator McKenzie has been a proud advocate of our sector and will continue to support Co-operative and Mutual Enterprises. Her National Party colleague, Kevin Hogan MP has taken up the baton to act as Co-Chair with Dr Leigh MP continuing his service. I have thanked both of them for their commitment to support our sector.
Kevin Hogan MP is a champion of co-operatives and the representative for the Electorate of Page, the proud home to many important co-ops and mutuals today and throughout history, especially in the agricultural sector. View the combined impact of the co-operative and mutual sector in Northern NSW (infographic produced by the BCCM produced for the Northern Rivers Co-operatives Alliance).
Thanks to all of you who attended the Parliamentary Friends events organised by BCCM in the last parliament to highlight the important contribution of co-ops and mutuals to the Australian economy. View photos from the last event.
BCCM members that attended these events have used this platform to have face-to-face discussions with Parliamentarians from all sides of politics about removing the remaining barriers to support fair competition for co-ops and mutuals.
We look forward to inviting members to attend the first Parliamentary Friendship Group events of the 46th Parliament.