Feb 15, 2016

First national small business ombudsman

First national small business ombudsman

Small businesses and subcontractors have a new avenue to air their grievances against the ‘big end of town’ with the creation of Australia’s first small business and family enterprise ombudsman.

The position has been filled by Kate Carnell, the former head of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a small business owner in Canberra before entering politics with the LNP, rising to the position of chief minister of the ACT.

Ms Carnell said the independence of the small business ombudsman was the key.

“This is an independent role … I hope if you ask the Labor Party about that or the crossbenchers they would say that I have worked closely with them,” she said.

Council of Small Business of Australia chief executive Peter Strong is supportive of Ms Carnell’s ability to handle the new job.

“Ms Carnell has been critical of the government in her role at ACCI. Of course she has a leaning towards the Liberals but I don’t think that affects her performance in any way, shape or form,” he said.

Mr Strong said at the ACCI Ms Carnell headed campaigns to bring in an effects test and reduce penalty rates where she focused more on the small business side of the membership than previous chamber chiefs.

Ms Carnell replaces Mark Brennan, the outgoing small business commissioner whose role is replaced by the small business and family enterprise ombudsman.

Find out more at: http://www.treasury.gov.au/Policy-Topics/Business/Small-Business/Family-Enterprise-Ombudsman or follow MySmallBusiness on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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