Kate Carnell named first Small Business Ombudsman

Kate Carnell, a business lobbyist and former ACT Chief Minister, will become Australia’s first Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.

Announcing the appointment today, Small Business Minister Kelly O'Dwyer said the new position had been created to provide small businesses with a Commonwealth advocate.

The Ombudsman will be involved in dispute resolution and also contribute to the development of small business Commonwealth laws and regulations.

“Today's appointment is a major win for small business owners who will have access to advice and support, and an independent advocate to ensure the Government creates the right conditions for small businesses to grow,” O'Dwyer said in a statement.

As the AFR reports, Carnell will step down from her role as head of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which she has held since 2014, with immediate effect.

A pharmacist by profession, she ran her own small business for 15 years before serving as ACT Chief Minister from 1995 to 2000.

"As much as I would've preferred to stay in my role at ACCI, this role came up," she said.

"And it's important that in this role I will be liaising with organisations like ACCI and COSBOA [Council of Small Business Australia].

"The role will allow me to be an advocate for small to medium-size businesses and family enterprises and ensure that government departments are operating in a small business-friendly way. It's an important role and shows the government is keen to ensure small businesses grow."

Image: ABC

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