On 17 March 2016, the Senate Economics References Committee investigated the role, importance and overall performance of cooperative, mutual and member-owned firms and tabled its report. The Senate Committee made 17 recommendations across a range of policy areas.
On 24 March 2017, the Turnbull Government announced that it would be conducting consultation on potential reforms to support cooperatives, mutuals and member-owned firms in Australia. Mr Greg Hammond OAM was appointed to facilitate this process and consult with stakeholders to assist the Government in further developing its response to the Senate Economics References Committee Report entitled Cooperative, Mutual and Member-owned Firms. Mr Hammond was to make recommendations to the Government on whether there should be regulatory or legislative changes to improve Commonwealth-registered cooperative and mutual enterprises’ access to capital and whether ‘mutual enterprise’ should be explicitly defined in the Corporations Act 2001.
Mr Hammond provided his independent review report to the Treasurer, The Hon Scott Morrison MP on 31 July 2017. The Turnbull Government released Mr Hammond’s report on 8 November 2017, all the recommendations of which the Government supports. Mr Hammond’s recommendations have informed the Government’s response to the Senate Economics References Committee’s Report.