Page 967 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022

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financial reporting for co-ops, meetings, rules, special resolutions, management, winding up of co-ops, and co-op disputes. The Access Canberra website has separate information about forms and fees, payment options, related resources and contact options.

Not surprisingly from the Greens, Mr Davis also calls for a new layer of bureaucracy, when he talks about establishing a unit within the ACT government to assist prospective co-operatives to navigate existing processes. The last thing any business, or co-op, needs from this Labor-Greens government is more bureaucracy and red tape. The government’s Better Regulation Task Force was established supposedly to identify this red tape and remove it, but already the discovery phase report is months overdue. And how much can we expect from Minister Cheyne? She says that the task force’s first and most critical task will be to talk to business about how to talk to business. Our business owners and entrepreneurs want government to get out of the way with the red tape so that they can get on with running and growing their enterprises.

Every now and again the Greens dip into the business portfolio and attempt to establish some business credentials. They should not bother, because the only party that genuinely understands business, and has the back of business, is the Canberra Liberals.

What business in Canberra want is actually very simple, and it is for this Labor-Greens government to reduce red tape and not add more.

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (4.58): I thank Mr Davis, through Ms Clay, for bringing this motion to the Assembly. I am pleased to speak in support of it, and I thank Mr Davis’s office for its engagement with my office on this motion.

The ACT government is supportive of enterprise in all of its forms. While we do not favour one form over another, it is important that we are providing Canberrans with information and assistance they need to carry on enterprise in the way they wish.

As flagged, in 2017, we passed enabling legislation adopting the Co-operatives National Law (ACT) Act 2017, which standardised the regulation of co-operatives across Australia. As democratically structured entities, co-operatives provide a direct ownership and collective benefit model for their members. Generally, co-operatives are based on the principles of voluntary and open membership, democratic member control, member economic participation, autonomy and independence, education, training and information, cooperation among co-operatives, and concern for the community.

We acknowledge that there is an important role that co-operatives can play in supporting the economic vibrancy of our city. Access Canberra, as Ms Castley has noted, are charged with the responsibility for registering co-operatives and the maintenance of the register of co-operatives in the ACT. They have advised that there

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