Nationals MP Michael McCormack replaced Kelly O’Dwyer as Minister for Small Business in this week’s ministerial reshuffle, which saw the PM defending his decision to remove the small business portfolio from the cabinet.
During a press conference on Monday, where he announced McCormack as the Minister for Small Business in the Treasury Portfolio, Malcolm Turnbull was asked by a journalist whether the decision to remove the role from the cabinet meant it had become ‘less important’. He responded:
“Every Minister is a Minister for Small Business. Small business is the very engine room of our economy. I talk about small business, I think about small business, all the time, so does the Treasurer, it is absolutely fundamental. There is a portfolio of Small Business which has certain responsibilities, and that is going to Michael McCormack, who is a great member, a very talented man, as I’m sure you know him well. Everyone is focused on small business.
“… one of the KPIs I’m setting for myself is ensuring that the Government does more with small business, because very often government makes itself hard to deal with for a small business.
“Right across the board, small business is a relentless focus of every minister, although there is one minister who has that as his title.”
Tim Reed, CEO of MYOB supported McCormack’s appointment but also expressed some concern about what the reshuffle would mean for the small business community:
“Given Mr McCormack’s experience as a small business owner, I’m confident he will bring a unique perspective to this critical portfolio.
“However, it’s disappointing that the small business portfolio is no longer in cabinet. I hope this unexpected choice doesn’t represent a missed opportunity for the Government to bring small business into the central innovation agenda.
“I hope Kelly O’Dwyer continues her passion for small business in her new role as Minister for Revenue and Financial Services. There is a lot that can be done for small business in her portfolio, such as the simplification of the BAS system and e-invoicing, which SMEs have been calling for in recent months.”