New Business & Delivery Models


Coops and Mutuals Green Paper

The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) and Bankmecu commissioned the Net Balance Research Institute to investigate the The roles for co-operative and mutuals in delivering Australian public services. The report was launched at a national roundtable on Public Sector Reform at the Press Club in Canberra on 18 November 2013 by Les Hems, Director of the Net Balance Research Institute.

The report forms the basis for continuing partnership between the Net Balance Research Institute and BCCM to investigate the role and comparative advantage of cooperatives and mutuals as a new business model for creating shared value.

To further the research, an industry taskforce has been established to oversee the development of a Green Paper on the role of co-operatives and mutuals in delivering public services in Australia. The Taskforce is chaired by Gillian McFee, an Independent Consultant and Former Director of Uniting Care Aging NSW/ACT, with participating member organisations including bankmecu, Employee Ownership Australia, Australian Unity, National Disability Services and Royal Automotive Club WA.

The research undertaken to date, and the experience in the UK, shows that co-operatives and mutuals have the potential to generate better social outcomes, greater value for money, higher returns on investment and greater economic and social resilience than government agencies or the private sector.

Comparative Advantage of Co-ops and Mutuals  

Net Balance Research Institute is also undertaking a complementary research project commissioned by BCCM to measure and report the comparative advantage and added value of co-operatives and mutuals to the private sector.

The research will address the current lack of recognition, measurement and reporting of the comparative advantage and added value of mutual and cooperative organisations.

An output of the research will be the development of a framework to assist co-operatives and mutuals systematically measure and report their comparative advantage, which will be tested using two case studies - Teachers Mutual Bank and the Barossa Co-Op Store.

For more information contact the Research Institute.