|Jamie Parker MP|
Small businesses and farmers need a Commissioner with legislative powers who can represent them against big businesses and vested interests, Greens MP and Spokesperson for Small Business Jamie Parker said today.
Mr Parker gave notice of the Small Business and Farming Commissioner Bill 2012 in the NSW Parliament just moments after the government introduced its own weaker Bill.
Mr Parker said:
"This Bill provides a strong legislative framework for the NSW Small Business Commissioner, thereby protecting small businesses including farmers from exploitation by big businesses and vested interests.
"The Minister has today responded to pressure to introduce legislation for the Small Business Commissioner however I'm concerned that the Bill would not provide the Commissioner with the powers necessary to protect small businesses.
"The Small Business Commissioner must be given legislative powers to stand up for small businesses including farmers. The Greens' Bill would provide businesses with the protection and support they need when dealing with large players where there is a clear imbalance in power and influence.
"Farmers particularly need protection from monopolistic behaviour particularly by large distributers and big supermarkets.
"This Bill provides the Small Business Commissioner with powers to impose penalties for breaches of mandatory industry codes.
"Small businesses must be supported in alternative dispute resolution and through codes of practice provisions.
"This Bill responds to the many small businesses in my electorate who have contacted me with concerns about the power of larger players.
"Part of what makes my electorate such a great place to live is the many small businesses which thrive along the high streets in Leichhardt, Balmain, Rozelle, Glebe, Annandale and Haberfield.
"We need to protect diversity and vitality of our communities by ensuring that small businesses are able to thrive in providing goods and services to local residents," Mr Parker said.