NSW Minister for Small Business Katrina Hodgkinson has encouraged small business operators to have their say about the role of the NSW Small Business Commissioner.
The Government is looking to consult with small businesses on a consultation paper on proposed legislation to support the role of the commissioner.
“It is important the commissioner has the appropriate powers and responsibilities to assist our State’s vital small business sector, and this process will ensure the small business commissioner legislation reflects best practice and meet the needs of our small businesses,” Hodgkinson said.
“The objective of the small business commissioner legislation is to help create an environment which allows NSW small businesses to grow and thrive.”
By consulting with businesses, the Government aims to equip the commissioner with tools to make the role practical and effective, making it easier for small businesses to do business with both government bodies and other businesses, and to help resolve disputes.
The commissioner will also resolve issues relating to administrative burdens, decision making by government bodies, and behaviour by larger businesses.
However, the timing of the legislation has been too slow in the eyes of the Opposition.
“Last September [Hodgkinson] promised legislation. In March of this year she offered only a discussion paper ‘soon’. It has taken her more than another three months to even get this out and it is not even a discussion paper, just a questionnaire,” said Adam Searle, the Shadow Minister for Small Business.
Searle said Labor released a draft Bill to small businesses, stakeholders and chambers of commerce across NSW in May.
“[The draft Bill] not only establishes the small business commissioner as an independent body but gives the role real teeth to stamp out unfair business practices and give small business the support it needs,” Searle said.
The consultation period for the Government’s paper will end on Friday, 27 July.
The consultation paper, a survey, and details about an upcoming small business tour by the Small Business Commissioner are available here.