Mark Brennan, the former Victorian Small Business Commissioner, has been appointed as the first Federal Small Business Commissioner. Commencing on 2 January 2013, the Office of the Australian Small Business Commissioner will work in consultation with industry and governments to ensure that small business concerns are heard and taken into consideration across Government.
Federal Small Business Minister Brendan O’Connor said Mr Brennan will work closely with the Gillard Government to provide the advice on issues that impact on Australia’s three million small businesses.
“Mr Brennan has had a distinguished career in both the private and public sectors,” Mr O’Connor said. “He is uniquely qualified, having served for seven years as the inaugural Victorian Small Business Commissioner, the first such position in any jurisdiction in Australia.”
The Victorian Small Business Commissioner model implemented by Mark Brennan is widely regarded as best practice and he has been consulted by those states which have subsequently introduced their own small business commissioners. In 2011, he was named the Council of Small Business of Australia’s (COSBOA) National Small Business Champion for his work in guiding and developing the role of Small Business Commissioner in Victoria.
Mr Brennan has owned and operated his own small business as Principal of MA Brennan and Associates. The firm provided advice to government on legislative reviews and policy issues. It also advised businesses and industry membership groups on government relations. He has also worked as a barrister and solicitor in private practice and held a range of roles in the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments, including as Executive Director of Small Business in the former Department of State Development.
Through the Commissioner, small business owners will be able to access information, advice and referral to services including business advisory and dispute resolution services.
The Federal Small Business Minister Brendan O’Connor would not provide any specific details about the role of the Australian Small Business Commissioner. “I don’t want to be too prescriptive around the role of the Commissioner because it is an independent position and I want Mr Brennan to have the flexibility to make the role his own,” he said.
More information about the Australian Small Business Commissioner will be available on the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE) website, from January 2013.