I welcome today’s passing of legislation in the Senate to establish an Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.
The establishment of the 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 legislation establishes the position and outlines the Ombudsman’s functions and powers. The Ombudsman will be a:
- Commonwealthwide 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 has ensured the Ombudsman position has been given real powers to deliver benefits for small businesses and to ensure that disputes brought forward will be impartially resolved according to the facts. The Ombudsman is also empowered to 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 Government has now set to implementing this legislation. During the transition the Small Business Commissioners will continue to operate and service of needs of small businesses across Australia.
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.