Directors and CEO of the new council (L-R) : Tony Stuart, Group CEO NRMA, Greg Wall, Group CEO Capricorn, Damien Walsh, CEO bankmecu, John McInerney, MD Common Equity Housing Ltd, Andrew Crane, CEO CBH Group, Peter Knock, CEO The Co-op, Melina Morrison, CEO BCCM
After nearly three years of industry consultation, the major legacy goal of the 2012 International Year of Co-operatives, the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals, is a reality with the official launch of the new body at the RACV Club in Melbourne on 29 July. The Council brings together the entire, diverse range of member and customer owned businesses to champion a campaign and policy agenda to raise awareness of the significance of co-operative and mutual businesses in the national economy.
The Council’s inaugural Chairman, Dr Andrew Crane, said the formation of the Council represents an important milestone in the national economic conversation in this country: “Our businesses have shown remarkable resilience in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and we’ve been able to sustain strong outcomes for our members and the local economies in which we operate – together through this Council we have an enormous contribution to make to national conversations about a sustainable economy.”
“The GFC has shown that where there is greater corporate diversity, economies are more stable,” said Dr Crane. “We know that the health and stability of the economy into the future will be strengthened through corporate diversity with a thriving co-operative and mutual sector.”
Speaking at last week’s launch, Shadow Minister for Small Business, Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs Bruce Billson described co-operatives as modern, dynamic businesses: “It is a very contemporary response, an idea, of which the legacy dates back a century and beyond, that is so right and responsive for today's marketplace". In her address, Labor Senator Ursula Stephens picked up on the role of co-operatives as important forms of social enterprise saying co-operatives and mutuals were “committed to a shared economic and social return on investment and the model whilst one of the most enduring and successful corporate forms continues to serve us so well in many areas of social service delivery like healthcare”.
The BCCM has written to Australian co-operative and mutual businesses with an invitation to join the council. Co-operatives and mutuals are invited to contact the Council to find out more about how they can join with other businesses to spearhead a new era in industry recognition.