Dispute resolution role welcomed for new Family Enterprise Ombudsman

The Government has released exposure draft legislation to establish an Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman that will ensure that disputes brought forward will be impartially resolved according to the facts.

The establishment of the Ombudsman’s office was welcomed by the CEO of the National Retail Association, Trevor Evans.

The Ombudsman will also act as an independent advocate for issues that small businesses are facing at the national level.

“Establishing a Small Business Ombudsman was an election commitment we made to ensure small businesses had an easy access point for advice to avoid and manage disputes,” said Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson.

“With the Ombudsman in place, the hard working women and men of Australian small business can get on with the important job of running their business instead of being caught up in dispute resolution.”

The Ombudsman will be a: Commonwealth-wide advocate for small businesses and family enterprises; a concierge for dispute resolution; and a contributor to the development of small business friendly Commonwealth laws and regulations.

The exposure draft legislation and explanatory materials are available at Treasury’s website for a consultation period ending 7 April 2015. Look up:


The NRA’s Trevor Evans said the announcement from the Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson to establish an Ombudsmen is a step in the right direction for the nation’s retailers.

“Hard-working owners or franchisees already face a number of challenges in the current retail space such as inconsistent and difficult leasing agreements as well as higher labour costs, so a protracted or expensive dispute can prove fatal for their business,” Mr Evans said.


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