NSW Minister for Small Business Katrina Hodgkinson has introduced legislation to establish the State’s first Small Business Commissioner as a statutory officer, which she says will give Commissioner Yasmin King (pictured) more power to represent NSW small businesses.
The move by Minister Hodgkinson is a result of King's recent listening tour and consultation period, which the SME Association of Australia* played an active part in.
The new legislation gives the NSW Small Business Commissioner enhanced powers to:
- Make it easier for SMEs to do business with government;
- Give advice to meet the needs of small businesses;
- Investigate complaints by or on behalf of small businesses in relation to unfair practices by other businesses or government bodies;
- Help small businesses reduce their administrative burden; and
- Provide low-cost dispute resolution services.
Minister Hodgkinson says the Small Business Commissioner Bill 2012 will enable the Small Business Commissioner to be an independent advocate for small businesses.
“This legislation brings NSW into line with other States and in some ways this Bill is leading the nation,” Hodgkinson says. “For example, the NSW Small Business Commissioner will be able to utilise a ‘collective complaint’ mechanism for a group of small businesses complaining to a body, such as the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission."
* My Business is the official publication of the SME Association of Australia.
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