The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman will replace the existing Australian Small Business Commissioner, who will continue to operate and service the needs of small businesses around Australia, during the transition period.
In her new role, Ms Carnell will advocate for small business and family enterprises and contribute to the development of small business friendly Commonwealth laws and regulations. The ombudsman will also be involved in dispute resolution and link with business.gov.au, operated by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, to help small businesses easily find out about other Government services and programs.
The functions and powers of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman are set out under the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Act 2015.
The Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA) has been calling for the appointment of an ombudsman for small business since 1977. COSBOA has called the appointment of Australia’s first Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman “a huge victory for small business”.
In a statement released to the media on Monday, COSBOA’s CEO, Peter Strong said: “Kate Carnell is a great selection and will help develop laws that specifically help and not hinder small business. With her experience in politics as an ex Chief Minister of the ACT and, running her own small business, we believe Ms Carnell is perfectly positioned to understand and represent the concerns of the small business community.”
“COSBOA knows from deep experience that some big businesses, Wesfarmers in particular, has used money, resources and its political influence to stop any policy that may provide fairness for small business,” said Mr Strong.
“COSBOA also knows that government agencies still design tender processes and business communications to make their job easier, rather than get the best business outcome for government. Hopefully all this can change now that Ms Carnell is in place.”