O'Brien pushes for small business commissioner

WA Government introduces Bill to establish a low-cost dispute resolution service for small businesses

March 17, 2011

Small businesses in Western Australia will have access to a low-cost dispute resolution system under a plan proposed by Small Business Minister Simon O’Brien.

The Small Business and Retail Shop Legislation Amendment Bill introduced into Parliament yesterday will, if passed, give small businesses the chance to resolve business-to-business disputes without the need for court action.

O’Brien says the Bill will establish a small business commissioner within the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) to manage disputes and will replace the role of managing director in the SBDC.

O’Brien wants the commissioner’s role to include educative, advisory, investigative and mediation services, together with the existing advocacy and policy functions of the SBDC.

"The commissioner will provide a low-cost, non-litigious way of resolving business disputes," he says.

"Overall, the new commissioner will enhance the powers and functions of the SBDC and increase the range of services available for WA’s small business owners and operators."

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