Page MP Janelle Saffin.
Page MP Janelle Saffin.

Saffin: Small business gets voice

SMALL businesses on the Northern Rivers will have a voice alongside the nation's major manufacturing and mining industries with the looming appointment of Australia's first Federal small business commissioner, Page MP Janelle Saffin has said.

The Federal Government yesterday announced it had created the position of small business commissioner. A commissioner was expected to be appointed within the next few months.

Ms Saffin welcomed the announcement, saying it would give local small businesses a voice alongside big industries that 'grab lots of attention'.

"Small business makes up more than a third of the national economy, and is the backbone of our local economy, with more than 11,000 small businesses in the Page electorate," Ms Saffin said.

"Many people in small business run small family concerns and earn wages like most of us. They want support and less red tape as they say.

"The Small Business Commissioner position was something that I have been publicly lobbying for, here and in Canberra, so as to give the sector the attention it so deserves.

"The small business sector has been calling for better advocacy, advice and information at the Federal level and the Government has listened."

Ms Saffin said the new commissioner would:

  • Be able to take up individual cases with relevant Government agencies.
  • Represent the concerns of small business directly to Government and ensure the interests of small business remain at the forefront of Government decision making.
  • Work with state and territory small business commissioners to ensure services are simple and easy to access.
  • Report directly to the Minister for Small Business, who will liaise with his Cabinet colleagues about issues important to small business.

"Today's announcement of the new position of Small Business Commissioner follows on from the recent inclusion in Cabinet of the Small Business Minister," Ms Saffin said.

"I personally congratulated the Minister O'Connor today and discussed the nature of his visit to our area.  We are currently securing a date.

"I look forward to the appointment of the Commissioner in coming months."

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