Australian Government announces plans to modernise laws for co-operatives and mutuals

  • Mutual enterprise to be defined in reforms to Australian corporations law
  • New options to invest in co-operatives and mutuals
  • Allows Australians to take a stake in mutual businesses
  • Major success for Mutuo advocacy strategy with BCCM

The Australian Federal Treasurer, Hon. Scott Morrison MP, has today announced that the Australian Government will legislate to create a better business environment for co-operatives and mutuals.  The announcement means that co-operatives will have the potential to access new and additional capital for long term business investment that benefits all Australians.

Today’s news is the result of two years painstaking work from Mutuo in collaboration with the Australian Business Council for Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) and fifteen great Australian Mutuals. The decision comes on the back of the Federal Senate Inquiry into Co-operatives and Mutuals in 2016 and accepts in full the recommendations of the Hammond Review to reform the business environment for the sector, which has been published today.

Mutuo’s Peter Hunt said, “This is a huge day for co-operatives and mutuals across Australia. Throughout this project we have sought to champion a better business environment for the sector and today’s announcement is a recognition of the critical impact of our sector on the wider Australian economy.

The creation of new capital instruments has the potential to build a strong new asset class to shake up the investment environment and allow co-operatives and mutuals issuing them to invest, innovate, grow and compete.”

The proposed new capital instruments are similar to those that have been developed for Building Societies and Mutual Insurers in the UK and form part of a global Mutuo campaign to give co-operative and mutual business more financing options and greater opportunity to compete.