Queensland co-ops celebrate legislative boost
17 June 2020 at 5:45 pm
“This legislation will not only create more awareness for the business model but also make it more accessible,” a co-op leader says.
Advocates have welcomed the passage of Queensland legislation that creates a nationally-harmonised legislative scheme regulating cooperatives nationwide.
The Co-operatives National Law Bill 2020 – which passed Queensland Parliament on Tuesday – will reduce costs for cooperatives by creating uniform regulation for the sector and bringing it in line with the rest of the country.
The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) believes this bill will provide Queensland entrepreneurs with a greater ability to choose an appropriate business structure, give co-ops better access to capital, and release small co-ops from needing to conduct a compulsory formal audit process.
BCCM CEO Melina Morrison said adopting this regime means Queensland will become a more attractive location to start and grow co-ops.
She said this reform could not come soon enough.
“In the aftermath of drought and bushfires, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, communities need modern business structures to enable them to work together to build local wealth, opportunity and resilience,” Morrison said.
“For years co-operatives have been an afterthought when it comes to strengthening and growing the state economy.
“The fact that they remain a popular way to do business is testament to the relevance of co-operatives as a preferred model of business for community members working together to achieve a shared goal.”
There are more than 150 cooperatives registered in Queensland, including Nundah Community Enterprises Cooperative.
Coordinator Richard Warner said this new scheme would greatly benefit the sector.
“Co-ops have created a place where the most disadvantaged group can now create businesses for themselves for full-time employment,” Warner said.
“This legislation will not only create more awareness for the business model but also make it more accessible.”