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

LocalCO-0201Builders Trading Co-operative LimitedActive
LocalCO-0202Food Cooperative Shop LtdActive
LocalCO-0203Canberra Student Housing Co-operative LtdActive
LocalCO-0205GetRealty Cooperative LimitedActive
LocalCO-0206National Health Cooperative LimitedActive
LocalCO-0207Trove Canberra Cooperative LimitedActive
LocalCO-0208Ethical Wheels Cooperative LimitedActive
LocalCO-0209ACT Water Rewards Cooperative LimitedActive
LocalCO-0210Pre Power One Co-op LimitedActive
LocalCO-0211Interchange Health Co-operative LimitedActive
LocalCO-0212Canberra Seed Savers Co-operative LimitedActive
LocalCO-0213RealKM Cooperative LimitedActive
LocalCO-0214ACT 30K/40K Narrative Gaming LimitedActive
LocalCO-0215AMAR CARE LimitedActive
LocalCO-0216The Elysian Co-op LimitedActive
ForeignCO-0301Islamic Co-operative Finance Australia LimitedActive
ForeignCO-0302Jacaranda Cooperative Housing Society LimitedActive

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