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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 2518 ..


Reference - Cooperatives Exposure Draft Legislation - Papers

MR HUMPHRIES (Treasurer, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Community Safety) (3.31): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the cooperative's exposure draft legislation, together with an explanatory memorandum. I move, pursuant to standing order 214:

That the Cooperatives exposure draft legislation, together with the explanatory memorandum, be referred to the Standing Committee for the Chief Minister's Portfolio for inquiry into and report by 21 October 1999.

Mr Speaker, I have a tabling statement with respect to the legislation. To save time, I seek leave to have it incorporated in Hansard, Mr Speaker.

Leave granted.

The tabling statement read as follows:

I am pleased to table the Cooperatives Bill 1999 as an exposure draft for members and for consultation with the local cooperative sector.

A cooperative society is an alternative form of trading organisation to companies and partnerships. Cooperatives are characterised by a greater role of member participation in the organisation of the activities of the entity, particularly through the concept of mutuality one member, one vote. Members contribute equitably to the cooperative and the democratic control of its operations. The legislation identifies specific cooperative principles to ensure the identity of cooperatives, for example voluntary and open membership and concern for the community.

While the ACT does not have many cooperatives, they are an important business entity in other regions of Australia providing a range of goods and services to both their members and the local community.

The passing of the Cooperatives Bill provides a number of potential benefits to the existing ACT cooperative sector, such as enhanced capacity to raise funds. The new provisions also provide a more flexible framework for trading by cooperatives within and outside the ACT.

The Bill represents a major reform to the current Act which needs to be updated and generally brought into line with other jurisdictions.

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