New Australian Small Enterprise and Household Enterprise Ombudsman Appointed

The Hon. Bruce Billson.

The Office of the Australian Ombudsman for Small Business and Family Businesses has welcomed the appointment of the Honorable Bruce Billson.

Mr Billson will begin his five-year term as the Ombudsman on March 11, replacing the first Australian Ombudsman for Small Business and Family Businesses, Kate Carnell AO.

Ms. Carnell welcomed the appointment and described the former Minister for Small Businesses as an advocate for the sector.

"Having played an important role in setting up the Ombudsman's office, Mr. Billson is well positioned to carry the torch," said Ms. Carnell.

"He is highly valued by the small business community and I am confident that he will be an effective advocate for the industry."

Mr. Billson thanked the outgoing Ombudsman, Ms. Carnell, for her unremitting commitment to the small business sector over the past five years.

"Ms. Carnell leaves a lasting legacy as a fierce advocate of Australian small businesses and a strong foundation to build on," said Billson.

“The pandemic has penalized many of our small and family businesses that need a supportive environment to lead the nation on the rise.

“All of my efforts will be aimed at setting the wind in the sails of small businesses and helping to strengthen the business for the benefit of Australia.

"Most of all, I will focus on making sure the small businesses have the support and confidence they need to survive and thrive well beyond the COVID crisis."

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has welcomed the appointment of the Hon Bruce Billson.

Paul Zahra, CEO of ARA, said Billson's wealth of experience in small business will position him as a strong advocate for the industry.

“Small businesses are the engine room of the Australian economy and our retail sector. The pandemic has put pressure on many smaller operators and now, more than ever, they need a strong voice to ensure they are well positioned to succeed in the recovery from Covid, "Zahra said.

“As a former Minister for Small Businesses, Mr. Billson comes in with a great understanding of the needs in this area. We look forward to working with him on the challenges and opportunities in the industry and making sure small businesses get the support they need to grow and thrive.

“We thank Kate Carnell for her service to the small business community over the past five years and for helping raise small business owner visibility and cause. We worked with Ms. Carnell on a number of issues that emerged during the Covid pandemic. We look forward to continuing this close relationship with Mr. Billson and his team in the years to come. "

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