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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 March 2017) . . Page.. 774 ..

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Co-operatives National Law (ACT) Bill 2017

Debate resumed from 16 February 2017, on motion by Mr Rattenbury:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (11.42): The Co-operatives National Law (ACT) Bill 2017 is aimed at ensuring that there is a consistent set of laws for cooperatives by adopting a template of the Co-operatives National Law that is consistent across all jurisdictions in Australia.

The idea of reducing red tape and administrative burden and associated costs for cooperatives on a number of levels is a welcome one. Cooperatives wanting to carry on business across state or territory borders will now be able to do so without the added burden of navigating different processes and obtaining separate registrations in each jurisdiction.

As stated in the explanatory statement, the adoption of the cooperatives national model law will modernise the law for cooperatives by creating consistent regulatory frameworks. This, alongside clarified governance provisions consistent with those of corporate entities and reduced reporting provisions for smaller cooperatives, will certainly simplify the regulation of cooperatives in the ACT.

Any simplification of a regulatory burden in any way, shape or form is welcomed by the opposition, from my perspective particularly. Therefore, the opposition will be supporting this legislation.

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (11.44): I am sure everyone here has encountered a cooperative that is operating in Canberra. There are many examples across the ACT, including bookstores, housing and health services, cafes and schools. As cooperatives, these businesses operate according to principles based on open membership and democratic decision-making.

Cooperatives are run by their members and can be classified as either trading or non-trading. Trading cooperatives reinvest a proportion of profits into the business and distribute the remainder to members. Non-trading cooperatives do not distribute profits to their members. They generally offer other benefits to members, such as discounts on products or access to shared equipment or services.

Cooperatives play an important role in the ACT business community. They are a unique business model that can build social and community capital through the active engagement of all members. Cooperatives are also less vulnerable to takeover by larger corporate organisations.

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