Small businesses in NSW now have an advocate with teeth following the formal appointment of the Small Business Commissioner as an independent statutory officer on 18 September 2013.
Under the Small Business Commissioner Act powers reside with the Small Business Commissioner to represent the interests of small business.
With the formal appointment of Yasmin King to the role of Commissioner, the Act has been proclaimed, bringing small business practices in NSW into a new era.
The legislation allows the Commissioner to:
- require parties to attend dispute mediation prior to initiating legal action;
- investigate allegations of unfair treatment and unfair contract terms;
- require local councils, State Government bodies and other businesses to provide information or answer questions if a complaint is made; and
- report directly to Parliament on issues of importance to small business.
Ms King has played an important role in establishing the Office of Small Business Commissioner.
The position has now become an independent statutory officer, and in keeping with the NSW Government’s commitment to merit-based appointments, applications for the role of the Small Business Commissioner for a five-year term will soon open. Ms King has been appointed in the interim.
The NSW Office of the Small Business Commissioner conducts dispute resolution services, advocacy, grassroots service delivery, and the Small Biz Bus programs.
More information here: http://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au