The Treasurer’s announcement acknowledges both the importance of a sector that contributes around seven percent of the nation’s GDP, and that current legislative arrangements impede its capacity to access the capital needed to grow, compete, create jobs and best serve its millions of members.
Australian Unity’s Group Managing Director Rohan Mead welcomed the appointment of Mr Greg Hammond to conduct the consultation and said this consultation was both a welcome step and one that has the potential to contribute to a more resilient economy through a diversity of corporate form.
“Our business purpose is to provide important social infrastructure that Australians need, whether it be in healthcare, aged care, disability or other community needs. This can take the pressure off the federal and state governments, but the laws around how we can potentially access capital limit the scale of what we can do. The Treasurer is to be congratulated for looking to facilitate a more competitive legislative framework for this sector,’’ Mr Mead said.
“Legal changes that provide mutual enterprises with a mechanism to enable them to access a broader range of capital raising opportunities will make the sector more robust and the economy more diverse and as a consequence, robust,” Mr Mead said.
Mr Mead also welcomed the Treasurer’s confirmation that the consultation would focus on whether “mutual enterprise” should be explicitly defined in the Corporations Act.
“If enacted, this would add certainty and transparency to the commercial arrangements of mutual organisations and level the playing field with other corporate forms,” Mr Mead says.
“The Senate Economic References Committee's final report on the sector contained a series of practical and sensible recommendations.The Treasurer's appointment of Mr Hammond to take this work further is another step toward real economic reform.”
Andrew Scannell, Head of Public Affairs and Communications
Telephone: 03 8682 6777
About Australian Unity
Australian Unity is a national health, wealth and living mutual company providing services to almost one million Australians, including 300,000 members. Australian Unity’s history as a trusted mutual organisation dates back to 1840. It has grown organically—by continually evolving to provide the services and products needed by the communities it serves—as well as through successful strategic mergers and diversification in to new business activities.