The Government has today released exposure draft legislation to establish an Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.
Establishing a Small Business Ombudsman was an election commitment we made to ensure small businesses had an easy access point for advice to avoid and manage disputes. With the Ombudsman in place the hard working women and men of Australian small business can get on with the important job of running their business instead of being caught up in dispute resolution.
The exposure draft legislation establishes the position and outlines the Ombudsman’s functions and powers.
The Ombudsman will be a:
- Commonwealth-wide advocate for small businesses and family enterprises;
- concierge for dispute resolution; and
- contributor to the development of small business friendly Commonwealth laws and regulations.
Our Government wants to ensure the Ombudsman is be given real powers to deliver benefits for small businesses and ensure that disputes brought forward will be impartially resolved according to the facts.
The Ombudsman will also act as an independent advocate for issues that small businesses are facing at the national level, voicing concerns to Government and industry where small businesses are being adversely affected.
The Ombudsman will also seamlessly link with business.gov.au to help small businesses easily find out about other government services and programmes, including general business advice.
The exposure draft legislation and explanatory materials are available at the Treasury website for a consultation period ending 7 April 2015.
Treasury officials will also hold targeted, one-on-one consultations across the country over the coming weeks.
The Government looks forward to receiving stakeholder comments to cement the Ombudsman as a powerful asset in the small business community.
The establishment of this Small Business Ombudsman is a step closer to ensuring Australia is the best place to build and grow a small business.