Now is our chance to build back better for regional Australia. Co-ops and mutuals can play a leading role

18 August 2020

Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals CEO Melina Morrison looks at how air travel and local news could benefit from a little more co-operation and shares examples from Canada on what this could look like.

Two major challenges for regional Australians are loss of mobility through air route closures and loss of local news coverage. Although these trends were apparent before the onset of COVID-19, the pandemic has dramatically escalated the rate at which these essential services disappear with potentially disastrous consequences for regional Australians.

Fewer transport links and increased travel costs could see existing geographic inequalities exacerbated. With regional newspapers, radio and television stations closing we have already seen the loss of regional voices and media representation in our news.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear where our traditional business models are broken. Communities need new solutions.

These issues are not unique to regional Australia. Canada also confronts the challenge of serving regional communities across a vast territory. An interesting shift in the business models used for air travel and regional media is seeing Canadians look to the self-help structure of co-operatives for solutions.

Read full article in Pro Bono Australia.

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