Co-operatives in the ACT
Co-operatives are a rare and strange form of business entity in Australia. Unlike regular companies, which are federally regulated by ASIC, co-operatives are regulated by states and territories, in accordance with a national uniform legislation scheme.
A few weeks ago, for reasons that I will not elaborate further on, I was reading about co-ops in the ACT, and wanted to find out how many co-ops we have.
For some reason, unlike with incorporated associations, Access Canberra does not publish the list of co-ops on its website. I decided that if they're not going to put it on their website then I will, and paid the $25 inspection fee to get the full list of registered co-ops. Access Canberra promptly sent me the list, and I now present it for all to see.
So how many co-ops are currently registered in the ACT? Only 15, plus two interstate co-ops that also operate in Canberra.
Of these co-ops, it seems to me (based on Googling) that a number of them are no longer operational, never were operational, or simply don't have a web presence. Of those that I could find online, there is considerable variety: a building materials supplier, a food retailer, a housing co-op, a handmade crafts shop, even a professional trade magazine.
I have mixed feelings as to whether co-ops are good business structures or not, but what I am certain of is that, at least in Canberra, it's an obscure concept with an obscure regulatory framework that we can perhaps pay a bit more attention to.
List of co-operatives in the ACT as of 31 August 2023
|Local||CO-0201||Builders Trading Co-operative Limited||Active|
|Local||CO-0202||Food Cooperative Shop Ltd||Active|
|Local||CO-0203||Canberra Student Housing Co-operative Ltd||Active|
|Local||CO-0205||GetRealty Cooperative Limited||Active|
|Local||CO-0206||National Health Cooperative Limited||Active|
|Local||CO-0207||Trove Canberra Cooperative Limited||Active|
|Local||CO-0208||Ethical Wheels Cooperative Limited||Active|
|Local||CO-0209||ACT Water Rewards Cooperative Limited||Active|
|Local||CO-0210||Pre Power One Co-op Limited||Active|
|Local||CO-0211||Interchange Health Co-operative Limited||Active|
|Local||CO-0212||Canberra Seed Savers Co-operative Limited||Active|
|Local||CO-0213||RealKM Cooperative Limited||Active|
|Local||CO-0214||ACT 30K/40K Narrative Gaming Limited||Active|
|Local||CO-0215||AMAR CARE Limited||Active|
|Local||CO-0216||The Elysian Co-op Limited||Active|
|Foreign||CO-0301||Islamic Co-operative Finance Australia Limited||Active|
|Foreign||CO-0302||Jacaranda Cooperative Housing Society Limited||Active|