COSBOA today called on the Prime Minister to ensure that a dedicated small business minister sits in Cabinet not in the waiting room.
Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA, said today “we need to have our Minister in Cabinet. Michael McCormack, as Minister for Small Business, has been all around Australia gathering information, selling government policy and seeking dialogue with small business people. The information he has gathered and given is essential information for the economic health of Australia. That information is best given and received by a cabinet minister. The message then for the 96% of businesses in Australia is that the government values them economically and personally.”
COSBOA has for many years argued that we have four pillars upon which small business policy and process can be built and from which the economy will benefit. These four pillars are:
a federal small business ombudsman (✔ with the ASBFEO);
a dedicated and effective small business peak body (✔ COSBOA thank you);
small business focused commissioners in the states and in key regulators (partial ✔ most states and the ACCC but not yet others);
and a small business minister in Cabinet (no ✔ here ……….yet)
Mr Strong added “We have had some complaints that there is too much attention paid to the small business community and that a special minister in Cabinet is overreach. Those complaining people forget the place the small business community has in the economy and our inherent lack of resources. There are over 2.1M small business people in Australia. Between us we employ over 4.8M other people. The small business community is intrinsic to innovation and change management. If we sneeze the economy coughs, if we cough the economy reaches for a tissue, if we have a day off the economy falters. Having a minister in Cabinet is akin to having a doctor on call or a specialist practicing preventative medicine or the provision of natural therapies when needed. Just appoint the Minister to Cabinet, and, just to be sure, make sure it is a dedicated Minister not a watered down version.”