22 August 2017
Media Release - #2017111, 2017

Small business, consumers central in transition to dispute resolution

DISPUTE resolution for small business and consumers is central in the new expert reference panel to assist the transition to a one-stop-shop for financial and superannuation disputes – the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack says.

“The Government will involve small business and consumer advocates as industry experts advise the best way to move to a one-stop-shop for dispute resolution,” Mr McCormack said.

“Small businesses and consumers are critical parts of Australia’s economy. We must ensure their voices are heard as we move towards a fairer deal for all Australians.”

Mr McCormack said the expert panel will consult widely with the small business and consumer sectors as part of the transition.

“The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s Small Business Loans Inquiry and feedback I have received from small businesses across Australia have shown how a one-stop-shop for dispute resolution is welcomed by the small business sector,” Mr McCormack said.

“The expert panel will now go out and listen to those Australians who want to have their say and shape how  the Australian Financial Complaints Authority will deal with disputes.

“We know small businesspeople and Australian consumers are busy – creating the jobs and opportunities our economy needs – so today’s announcement is an important step in the right direction.

Mr McCormack applauded Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer’s announcement.

“This is an important first step in delivering our Budget commitment to establish the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, which will provide free, fast and binding dispute resolution for small businesses and customers,” Mr McCormack said.

“I encourage Australians with ideas to get involved and have their say.”

Robin Buckham, Director at Self Employed Australia, will represent small business and John Berrill, Consumer Member, Superannuation Complaints Tribunal Advisory Council, will represent consumers.

The transition team is led by former Assistant Governor of the Reserve Bank, Dr Malcolm Edey.