Advocacy and Policy

The BCCM makes sure political parties, government and regulators understand Australia’s co-operative and mutual sector. We advocate for an enabling legal, regulatory and policy environment so co-operatives and mutuals can compete freely and fairly with other business models.

In 2015 and 2016 we advocated for and steered a Federal Senate inquiry into the sector’s contribution to the economy, so members could speak directly to lawmakers.

The Hammond Review followed and recommended reforms to improve access to capital for the sector. In 2019, BCCM secured amendment to the Corporations Act to define mutuals and allow for Mutual Capital Instruments.

BCCM CEO Melina Morrison addresses attendees to the 2020 Resilience Symposium in Sydney

BCCM CEO Melina Morrison addresses attendees to the 2020 Resilience Symposium in Sydney

Prosperity and enterprise

Co-operatives and mutuals drive prosperity through self-help and entrepreneurship by sharing ownership and the rewards of business. They underpin an efficient, just and sustainable economy.

Equal treatment for all business models

When there are diverse business models within our economy, it is more resilient to dramatic changes in the business cycle. However, different business models need equal regulatory treatment and funding access. The co-operative and mutual member-focused business model has a rich heritage in Australia and is a vital contributor to the economy and community life. We advocate to remove barriers to fair competition and innovation so member-owned businesses can operate on a level playing field.


  • Promotes co-operatives and mutuals in the national economy and community life of Australia
  • Grows the number of co-operatives and mutuals in the economy through awareness and support
  • Produces evidence of the contribution of co-operatives and mutuals
  • Networks, shares best practice and fosters partnerships between co-operatives and mutuals, and their communities

Policy aims

  • Nationally consistent legislation and regulation of co-operatives and mutuals
  • Co-operative and mutual businesses to receive the same attention, encouragement and support from governments as other corporations
  • Clear political responsibility for co-operatives and mutuals at all levels of government
  • Co-operative and mutual education in accounting, business, commerce, economics and law


Giving businesses the choice to operate as a co-operative or mutual needs the regulatory regimes to fit. BCCM submissions to government inquiries have led to amended legislation for fairer operating conditions, access to capital and grants allocation.

BCCM submissions also help educate the wider community on the benefits of co-operatives and mutuals across the economy. Browse BCCM Submissions

Blueprint for an enterprising nation

How Australia’s co-operative and mutual businesses can contribute to our nation’s growth and prosperity.
Download the 2018 Blueprint for an enterprising nation

Co-operative Farming: Blueprint for future proofing Aussie farmers

How co-operatives are good for farmers, fishers and foresters; regional Australia; and Australia.
Download Co-operative Farming: Blueprint for future proofing Aussie farmers

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