Former Small Business Minister Michael McCormack has been sworn in as the Deputy PM, having secured the leadership of the Nationals in the wake of Barnaby Joyce’s resignation.
According to Fairfax, McCormack has signalled he will seek to reverse the Turnbull Government’s decision to move the small business ministry to the cabinet in 2015.
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO), Kate Carnell, congratulated McCormack on his new appointment.
“Michael McCormack was a diligent and committed Small Business Minister, so we are particularly pleased with this outcome,” She said.
“[He] ran his own small business before entering Parliament so he knows what it’s like, and has great empathy for the challenges and opportunities small businesses face every day.
“During his time as the Federal Small Business Minister, Mr McCormack led a significant small business roadshow around Australia, visiting more than 30 metropolitan, regional and rural localities, from Albany in Western Australia to North Queensland.
“The Small Business Roadshow included my office, the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, speaking with small business owners to learn first-hand what’s working well and what more could be done to get the policy settings right.
“We are pleased Mr McCormack will push for the Small Business Minister to have a seat in Cabinet, as has been the case in the past.
“And we are confident the new Deputy Prime Minister will have small business issues as a major focus.”
Speaking to SBS, Peter Strong, CEO of the Council of Small Business Australia, said McCormack did a “great job” as the small business Minister, citing the time he dedicated to talking with hundreds of owners as part of his six-month small business roadshow.
Strong continued, “What Michael has said is the Small Business Minister’s job should be in the cabinet, and it absolutely should be we’re the most vital part of the economy… We’re the biggest part when it comes to employing, and we should have a single voice in cabinet.”