COSBOA welcomes the appointment by Minister Kelly O’Dwyer of Kate Carnell as Australia’s first Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.
Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA, said today “COSBOA has been calling for an Ombudsman for our sector since 1977 when our association was first formed by concerned small business supporters. No other group has called for such a position until more recent years so it seems that patience pays off. Kate Carnell is a great selection.”
COSBOA knows from deep experience that some big businesses, Wesfarmers in particular, has used their money, resources and political influence to stop any policy that may provide fairness for small business at the expense of their bullying business models. COSBOA also has bitter experience with ideological policy makers who see small businesses as unimportant in economic terms and show our sector scant respect. Finally COSBOA 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.
Peter Strong added “for too long the likes of Treasury, Wesfarmers, big business associations and others who are supporting old ideologues or vested interest have ruled the roost. The recent decision by the Abbott government to shelve an effects test in competition law is a great example of one huge business, Wesfarmers, getting its way at the expense of the economy. With Kate Carnell in the new role we expect the internal bureaucratic fight, while never even, now will be more willing.”
Peter Strong also added “areas that will definitely improve will be around communications and process for small business as well as for dispute resolution. Ms Carnell has the skills to stop many disputes happening or reaching a need for action. Ms Carnell has experience with politics as an ex Chief Minister of the ACT and has run and grown her own small business. She also has deep experience with COAG processes, mental health through her role as CEO of Beyond Blue as well as various industry associations. This is a great decision and only 39 years in the making.”
“Also two more words are all that need to be said – “Bruce Billson”.