Senate report on cooperative, mutual and member-owned firms

The Senate Economics References Committee has published its report on its Inquiry into Cooperative, mutual and member-owned firms.

The report contains useful data on the scale and extent of the sector as well as an overview of current state and federal legislation governing co-operatives and mutuals.

While most of the 17 recommendations are aspirational, the following specific recommendations may facilitate better regulation of the sector:

Recommendation 4
The committee recommends that a mutual enterprise is explicitly defined in the Corporations Act 2001, and its associated regulations.

Recommendation 5
The committee recommends that the role of directors in mutual enterprises is defined in the Corporations Regulations to align with the proposed definition of a mutual enterprise in the Corporations Act.

Recommendation 16
The committee recommends that APRA set a target date for the outcome of discussions with the co-operative and mutuals sector on issues of capital raising and bring those discussions to a timely conclusion.

Recommendation 17
The committee recommends that the Commonwealth Government examine proposals to amend the Corporations Act 2001 to provide co-operative and mutual enterprises with a mechanism to enable them access to a broader range of capital raising and investment opportunities.

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