Source: ABC News, Wednesday, 12 December 2018

The small Western Australian community of Gnowangerup is a world away from the cooperative breweries and wholefood stores dotting inner-city streets.

But the 600-strong community, 350 kilometres south-east of Perth, is using the same cooperative business model used by these trendy ventures to save its ailing businesses.

With many of the town’s main street shopfronts empty, Gnowangerup has formed its own cooperative to combat a lack of basic services.

While investor-owned companies focus on returning profits for shareholders, cooperatives have a shared ownership and benefit for the community.

Governance is democratic, giving each member one vote.

But with so much focus on market deregulation and multi-national corporations’ influence on the economy, the crucial role of cooperatives in regional Australia has never been more important...

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