As anticipated by one of our earlier posts, the Minister for Small Business, the Hon. Bruce Billson, has introduced into Parliament the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bill 2015.
The Ombudsman will be able to respond to requests for assistance by small business owners (including family enterprises). The Ombudsman will also have an advocacy function.
The Ombudsman will not duplicate the functions of existing Commonwealth, State or Territory officials. It will also not undertake a formal role at this time in relation to dispute resolution under the Franchising Code of Conduct, which continues to be regulated by the ACCC.