Small business has a new minister in Michael McCormack but the portfolio is no longer in the cabinet which has raised concerns with the Council of Small Business.

McCormack (pictured), who represents the NSW electorate of Riverina for the Nationals, takes over from Kelly O’Dwyer, who moves to Minister for Revenue and Financial Services.

The new minister owned and ran a media and publishing company in Wagga Wagga for about eight years before entering parliament. McCormack is also the former editor of the area’s The Daily Advertiser newspaper.

While welcoming the new posting, the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) said it was “disappointed” the portfolio has moved from the Federal Government’s cabinet. CEO Peter Strong said it will be “seeking answers to why this has happened”.

“Small business is powerful, employing around five million Australians and driving the country’s economy, so why has the portfolio moved?” he asked

“What’s happened and what pressures have caused this? Perhaps big businesses and unions are in play? In our opinion, this is a step backwards for small business.”

For COSBOA, some of the key issues for small business are:

  • Competition policy and the enacting the Effects Test.
  • Creating a viable and effective vocational education and training system.
  • Confronting the two tiered workplace relation system that see big businesses and big unions manipulating legislation for their benefit, not that of workers or the economy.
  • Inclusion of the self-employed in the health framework, particularly for mental health.
  • Confronting manipulation of policy by big businesses and unions.
  • Creation of a more efficient superannuation collection process.