26.8 C
Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Conference aims to give co-ops a better name

Latest News


Dr Matt Landos, East Ballina There is the real news and then there is the fake news. The radio news announced...

Other News

A closer look at Byron Council’s fossil fuel investments

Is Byron Council putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to reducing carbon emissions?

Man rescued from Upper Wilsons Creek causeway

At about 10pm last Friday a man from Mullumbimby was driving his his car along Upper Wilsons Creek Road and was swept into the creek.


Dr Matt Landos, East Ballina There is the real news and then there is the fake news. The radio news announced...

Housing affordability on agenda at Ballina

With the housing crisis worsening in Ballina and across the Northern Rivers, councillors agreed that something had to be done about the problem at their meeting yesterday.

Will Ballina Council live up to its promise?

A motion from Cr Jeff Johnson to be tabled at Ballina Shire Council's meeting this week will ask the council to live up to its promise to act on the climate emergency, and divest from fossil fuel investments.

Letting go

Mary McMorrow, Mullumbimby I respect the parents forgiving the drunk driver who killed their four children (one a cousin) as...

Eight in every ten Australians are members of a co-operatively owned, or mutually owned, business but despite this widespread membership, community awareness of the sector runs far behind.

This is a key finding of ground-breaking research on the size and scope of the Australian co-operative sector, which will be handed down at Building a Better Australia – the national co-operatives conference in Port Macquarie today.

‘Overdue research for the co-operative sector, which includes co-operatively or mutually owned businesses – like farmer-owned co-ops, Murray Goulburn and Co-operative Bulk Handling; roadside assistance organisations, NRMA and RACV; member-owned superannuation funds, credit unions and customer-owned banks such as Bankmecu; and consumer co-operatives like The Co-op Bookshop – is just one of several important outcomes of the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives (IYC),’ said Greg Wall, chair of Australia’s Secretariat for the International Year.

‘Another important outcome we will announce at the conference is formation of a peak body to promote the co-operative and mutual business model in the national economy. There is the Business Council of Australia, but there is no council at this national level representing co-operative businesses that have a different structure to investor-ownership.

‘The national conference this week is the opportunity to reflect on our achievements as a sector in this UN year focused on our trusted and ethical model of business. Raising the level of public awareness of the important role of co-operative businesses to Australia’s social and economic development has been the main challenge for Australia’s committee for the UN year. All of our projects this year have focused on this,’ said Wall.

‘There are many co-operatives including credit unions and mutuals operating in Australia – nearly 1800 – and the top 100 of these alone had turnover of $17 billion on 2011. We are bringing more that 200 delegates and 60 speakers together this week to make sure that we continue to get the word out about the positive role of co-operatives beyond the end of the International Year,’ said Melina Morrison, director of the IYC Secretariat and Social Business Australia.

The launch of a commemorative yearbook with 50 business case studies, Australia’s first national leadership awards for co-operative businesses presented by chef Maggie Beer, a youth summit and a co-operative film festival are highlights of the conference.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Exciting possibilities for healthier communities. I look forward to the book and the outcomes of the Conference contributing to fairer and healthier communities for our selves and families of the future.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Monkey see

Daniel Brown, Byron Bay Back in my early youth growing up in Mt Eliza Victoria in the ‘90s I’d secretly look up to and admire...

Australia’s bastardry

Gareth W R Smith, Byron Bay Australia has a long string of racist and anti-humanitarian policies. These range from its treatment of Aboriginal people, complicity...

Mt Warning ban

Chris Gee, Byron Bay Indigenous readers be advised that the following letter contains references to persons deceased. I read with some interest and also, I am...

‘The Great Reset’

Gary Opit, Wooyung I appreciated the letter by Lucas Wright (17 February) on the Great Reset conspiracy fantasy. With our privileged, western, simplistic understanding of...