New govt to help small business

Dr Grant Cairncross, School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, SCU.
Dr Grant Cairncross, School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, SCU.

THE election in a landslide of a new Coalition Government in NSW raises a number of interesting possibilities for small to medium business operators in our region.

For example the new Government committed in September of 2010 to establish a Small Business Commissioner if elected.

The new premier, Barry O’Farrell, went some way with this announcement towards meeting a request from the NSW Business Chamber that the new government establish a department of business growth designed to move the growth focus in the State away from Sydney towards regional areas.

The NSW Business Chamber envisages that the Office of the Small Business Commissioner will be a statutory body that will be actively involved in disputes resolution on a business-to-business level, between business and government departments, between businesses and local councils, between landlords and leases and mediate in franchise disagreements.

Additionally it is envisaged the Office of the Small Business Commissioner will provide recommendations and suggestions to government while also investigating business complaints and provide comment on issues pertaining to government procedures.

The Business Chamber of NSW has lobbied hard that the Office of Small Business Commissioner should take a strong lead in ‘reducing red tape’ and it will be interesting to see if the new government goes as far as this when the legislation to set up the Office of Small Business Commissioner is tabled in Parliament and whether the Business Chamber’s suggestions that the Commissioner will be responsible for informing and educating government agencies on the operations of small business is also adopted.

The new government announced during the election campaign it would reform business licensing through improved online access to licence applications and renewals and ensure NSW government agencies pay bills within 30 days.

One other area small business is keen to see change is their desire to see the new government overturn the Keneally Government’s decision to withdraw from a national Occupational Health and Safety system with the Chamber’s CEO Stephen Cartwright stating “Kristina Keneally’s decision to junk national harmonisation of OH&S represented the worst in government decision-making”.

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