Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton has welcomed the announcement of the Government’s first Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman describing it is a big win for small businesses across Western New South Wales.
“Small businesses are the backbone of local economies right across the federal electorate of Parkes and we need to make sure they are supported in every way possible,” Mr Coulton said.
Minister for Small Business, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP announced that Ms Kate Carnell AO has been appointed to the new role of Ombudsman, an appointment that Mr Coulton supports.
“Ms Carnell will provide small businesses with access to advice and support, and will be an independent advocate to ensure the Government creates the right conditions for small businesses to grow,” Mr Coulton said.
The appointment fulfils a key Government election commitment to establish an independent Ombudsman with real powers to act as a:
- Commonwealth advocate for small businesses and family enterprises;
- Concierge for dispute resolution service to allow businesses to resolve disputes without resorting to costly litigation; and
- Contributor to the development of small business Commonwealth laws and regulations.
Ms Carnell brings extensive experience and knowledge to the role of Ombudsman. Ms Carnell, who ran her own small businesses for 15 years before becoming ACT Chief Minister, is well-positioned to translate the voices of small Australian businesses and family enterprises into targeted policy messages for Government.
Ms Carnell has held the position of CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 2014, which represents more than 300,000 businesses across Australia.
Minister O’Dwyer said the Government acknowledges small businesses make a substantial contribution to Australia’s economy with over two million small businesses generating around a third of economic output.
“I congratulate Ms Carnell on her full-time appointment and trust she will make an outstanding contribution to ensure that small businesses and family enterprises can thrive,” Minster O’Dwyer said.
Ms Carnell will commence the new role on 11 March 2016 for a five year period.