Former Small Business Minister the Honorable Bruce Billson has been appointed as the new Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, replacing the inaugural Ombudsman Kate Carnell whose five-year term comes an end on 10 March. Billson is set to assume the role on 11 March, and will also serve for a term of five years.
Kate Carnell has welcomed the appointment of her successor, describing the former Small Business Minister as a champion of the small-business sector.
“Having played an integral role in the establishment of the Ombudsman’s office, Mr Billson is well-positioned to carry the torch,” Carnell said. “He is highly regarded by the small-business community and I am confident he will be an effective advocate for the sector.”
Billson thanked the outgoing Ombudsman for her work as inaugural ASBFEO and her unwavering commitment to the small-business sector over the last five years.
“Ms Carnell leaves a lasting legacy, as a fierce advocate for Australian small businesses and a strong foundation to build on,” Billson said.
Billson outlined his plans for his early days in his new role, highlighting the huge challenges so many small and family businesses have had to face because of the pandemic, pledging to providing them with a supportive environment to help lead the nation into recovery.
“All of my efforts will go towards putting the wind in the sails of small business and helping to energise enterprise to Australia’s benefit,” Billson said. “Most importantly, I’ll be focused on ensuring the small-business community has the support and confidence they need to survive and thrive well beyond the COVID crisis.”