​Media Release

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman poised to deliver for farmers​

25 March 2015

The Australian Government’s introduction of an Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman is good news for Australian family farms, the majority of which are also small busines​ses. 

These small Australian businesses will soon have, in the Ombudsman, a new advocate at the federal level to better inform policy development and dispute resolution.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the contribution made by family farms in Australia depended on a strong understanding of their unique role at all levels of government. 

“Australia’s farming families are the source of the food you eat, they are a vital generator of so much economic activity right across the supply chain, and ultimately they make a substantial contribution to the national economy,” Minister Joyce said.

“This government is committed to Australia’s farming families and delivering on policies that ensure we continue to have a strong, productive and profitable farm sector well into the future.

“Expanding the powers of the Australian Small Business Commissioner to become a Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman is one more way that we are ensuring the development of farm-friendly Commonwealth laws and regulations.”

The Government has now released an exposure draft of legislation establishing the Ombudsman for public consultation. The draft legislation also outlines the Ombudsman’s functions and powers as a Commonwealth-wide advocate for small businesses and family enterprises.

“The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman is one more way that we will listen to Australian farmers, improve their engagement with government and ensure their best interests are represented in policy and programme design,” Minister Joyce said.

The Ombudsman will be given real powers to deliver broader benefits for small businesses and to ensure that disputes brought forward are resolved in accordance with the facts.

"I encourage anyone with an interest in this role to get involved in the consultation process.”

The consultation process closes on Tuesday, 7 April 2015. Full details are available on the Treasury website.