Former Franchise Council of Australia chair, the Hon. Bruce Billson, has been appointed Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.
Billson, who left the FCA after a two and a half year stint, will start a five-year term in the ombudsman role on 11 March 11, 2021.
He replaces outgoing and inaugural Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell AO.
Carnell welcomed the appointment, describing the former Small Business Minister as a champion of the sector.
“Having played an integral role in the establishment of the Ombudsman’s office, Mr Billson is well positioned to carry the torch,” Carnell said.
“He is highly regarded by the small business community and I am confident he will be an effective advocate for the sector.”
Billson said Kate Carnell had been a passionate voice for the sector.
“Ms Carnell leaves a lasting legacy, as a fierce advocate for Australian small businesses and a strong foundation to build on.
“The pandemic has been punishing for many of our small and family businesses, which will need a supportive environment to help lead the nation into recovery.
“All of my efforts will go towards putting the wind in the sails of small business and helping to energise enterprise to Australia’s benefit.
“Most importantly, I’ll be focused on ensuring the small business community has the support and confidence they need to survive and thrive well beyond the Covid crisis.”
In his previous role as Cabinet Minister, Billson spearheaded the Government’s SME agenda and the creation of the 2015 Federal Budget’s Jobs and Small Business package.
Last year he joined the newly formed BDC Partners group as chair and director – growth and development, but has resigned from this role, along with all other positions and business interests to remain focused solely on the ASBFEO role and responsibilities.