Although many are applauding new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s cabinet reshuffle, the Council of Small Business of Australia’s chief executive, Peter Strong, is disappointed by the removal of MP Bruce Billson as Minister for Small Business.
Mr Billson had been a prominent champion for the introduction of an ‘effects test’, working to make the test part of competition law as recommended by the Harper Review.
The recommendation was shelved earlier this month despite Mr Billson’s advocacy and there have been reports that Mr Turnbull was against an ‘effects test’ along with other senior cabinet members and new Minister for Small Business Kelly O’Dwyer. It is unsure how Mr Billson’s removal will alter the government’s stance toward the changes recommended by the Harper Review, especially in light of news that Mr Turnbull has had to cut a deal in favour of discussing the ‘effects test’ in order to gain the National Party’s support.
The outgoing minister used social media to thank Australian small businesses and lament that he is no longer able to support them in an official capacity, while offering his endorsement for the new cabinet.
Mr Strong said that he looks forward to working with Ms O’Dwyer despite disagreeing with Mr Turnbull’s decision to remove Mr Billson.