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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 3 Hansard (9 March) . . Page.. 723 ..

Thursday, 9 March 2000


MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


MR HUMPHRIES (Treasurer, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Community Safety) (10.32): Mr Speaker, I present the Cooperatives Bill 2000, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.


That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

The Bill was tabled in August 1999 as an exposure draft for members of the Assembly and the public to examine and was also given to the local cooperative sector as part of the consultation process. The ACT has only three locally registered cooperative societies. This comprehensive draft Bill may seem, therefore, to be out of proportion to the size of the ACT cooperative sector. The Bill is significant, however, for two reasons. First, because it replaces the Co-operative Societies Act 1939 with modern legislation which responds to current community and industry requirements. Secondly, the Bill is part of a process whereby each state and territory is moving towards consistent cooperative legislation.

The Bill incorporates a comprehensive set of core provisions that are being introduced by consensus in all other jurisdictions. The core provisions relate to the establishment, operation and regulation of cooperative societies as mutual organisations controlled democratically by their members. The non-core provisions relate to local matters, such as references to other legislation and the nature of the office of the regulator.

The consistent legislation is of particular importance to cooperatives that trade across state and territory borders. It will remove the need for cooperatives to comply with differing legislative requirements, depending on the States or Territories in which they operate. The consistent legislation has also been designed to address issues that have arisen in other jurisdictions regarding compliance with the Corporations Law in the area of interstate fundraising and mergers.

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