Ombudsman welcomes small business’ return to Cabinet

| August 28, 2018

Michaelia Cash has been appointed Australia’s new Federal Minister of Small Business and Vocational Education in the Cabinet reshuffle announced by incoming Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Former Small Business Minister Craig Laundy was a strong supporter of the ousted Malcolm Turnbull and has returned to the backbench after eight months in the post. Cash is now the fifth small business minister in just three years. Bruce Billson was replaced by Kelly O’Dwyer in September 2015 before the post was taken up by Michael McCormack and then Laundy.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, welcomed the return of small business to Cabinet, signalling the importance of the sector to Australia and its economy.

“It’s great to have the small business portfolio back in Cabinet and to have Michaelia Cash as the minister responsible,” Ms Carnell said today.

“Australia is a nation of small businesses and family enterprises, and our new Prime Minister, Scott Morrison sees the value of this sector – the backbone of the Australian economy.

“We thank former Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation, Craig Laundy for his enthusiasm and in-depth understanding of the sector. He has done a great job.

“We look forward to working with Minister Cash on small business policy and a range of important issues for small businesses and family enterprises.

“Most importantly, reducing the company tax rate for SMEs to 25%, addressing phoenixing, improving small business’ access to capital, making the Fair Work Act easier to navigate and implementing e-invoicing.”

Wither innovation?

Queensland’s Karen Andrews, who was Science minister in the original Abbott Ministry, has been promoted into the Cabinet as the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology.

Ms Andrews is the Coalition’s sixth industry minister since it won power at the 2013 election, and the third since January last year.

Ms Andrews was a Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Science in the original Abbott government, and under former Prime Minister Turnbull was first assistant minister for science, and later assistant minister for vocational education and skills.

Although ‘Science’ has made a return, the word ‘innovation’ – Malcolm Turnbull’s favourite buzzword when he ousted Tony Abbot – has been excised from the Industry portfolio.  Turnbull’s much vaunted innovation agenda failed to resonate with an electorate nervous about their jobs at the last Federal poll, and Scott Morrison will clearly take a different tack when he faces his own national poll.