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15 March 2016

Open for business: The Office of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, today announced the commencement of the Office of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO).

Ms Kate Carnell AO, who was recently appointed to the position of Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, is looking forward to the new role.

“I am hoping to be a very strong advocate for the sector and to work closely with industry associations and small business and family enterprise generally," Ms Carnell said.

“I would like to make sure that small business and family enterprise have a very strong voice inside all parts of government to ensure that regulations and laws are business friendly.”

The ASBFEO will be a:

  • Commonwealth advocate for small businesses and family enterprises;
  • concierge for dispute resolution to allow businesses to resolve disputes without resorting to costly litigation; and
  • contributor to the development of small business Commonwealth laws and regulations.

Ms Carnell brings extensive experience and knowledge to the role of Ombudsman. She ran her own small businesses for 15 years before becoming ACT Chief Minister in 1995 for a five year period.

Prior to her appointment as Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Ms Carnell held the position of CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She has also served two years as CEO of beyondblue and four years as CEO of the Australian Food and Grocery Council.

Ms Carnell is a pharmacist by profession and was the inaugural chair of the ACT Branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. She was also the first female to become the National Vice-President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

Ms Carnell was appointed to the Ombudsman role for a five-year period.