Frequently Asked Questions - COOPERATIVE

Why are we creating a Land Cooperative?
members recognise that living apart in small units, as most people in today's society do, is magnifying the problems humanity faces. By deciding to pool our resources and live together we use less, thus minimising our environmental impact.
It is our aim to create a sustainable lifestyle on the Tablelands, producing quality food for our own consumption, exchange and income. Cooperative living reduces the individual's workload and the sum of us can achieve much more than each of us could individually.
Daily interaction within the cooperative provides us with a rich and diverse experience and...... is fun!
Last, but not least, to effectively meet future challenges such as climate change and peak oil, we intend to create a sustainable and largely self reliant community and to be a model for others.

Why a Co-Op rather than a company?
A Co-Op can charge it's members a fee - a company cannot
A Co-Op can buy shares back - a company cannot
A Co-Op can expel members - a company cannot get rid of any shareholder
In a Co-Op one member has one vote, in a company one $ has one vote
In our Co-Op the shareholders have operational control - in a company, the directors have control. 

Who is the Cooperative?
The Cooperative is a legal entity similar to a trust or company. made up of all members who each hold one one or more shares (but never have more than one vote).

What is the decision making process?
We aim for consensus and if that cannot be reached a 75% majority is required for most decisions and up to 90% majority for changes to core rules & principles etc.., with each full member having one vote. We embrace transparency, honesty and cooperation in all meetings and decision making.

Why are the Rules so long?
The Cooperative Rules are actually a requirement by the Office of Fair trading which is the governing body for all cooperatives in Queensland. The Model Rules (which were initially presented to us) have been modified and adjusted by us to be more equitable and fair for all members, but are still about the same length. Unfortunately these are a hefty 40 pages of legal terminology. If anyone wants to volunteer to create a summary version setting out the most important bits in plain English, please contact us, we'd be very grateful.

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