Bruce Billson to chair Franchise Council of Australia

Bruce Billson reveals the achievement he is most proud of during his time in parliament

Former small business minister Bruce Billson has been appointed as executive chair of the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA).

It’s the first post-parliamentary appointment for Billson, who is reportedly also in the running for a leadership role with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, following former chief executive Kate Carnell’s appointment as the inaugural Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.

In a statement, the FCA said Billson is a long-term supporter of the franchise sector.

“Franchising is a wonderful model for entrepreneurship where people can be in their own business but not be on their own for this commercial journey,” Billson said in the statement.

“The experience and know-how made available by franchise systems and the drive and entrepreneurship of franchisees combined to make franchising a very resilient business model during and post-GFC.

“With improved business conditions, now is the time to take Australia’s leading role in franchising to the next level and grow the number of first-class systems, investors and livelihoods made possible by franchising.”

As small business minister, Billson was responsible for updating the Franchising Code of Conduct and handing power to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to fine franchisees and franchisors that breach the code.

Fairfax reports Billson is also under consideration for a leadership position at the Australian Chamber and he says “there is a synchronicity of interest between the franchise industry’s goals and a leadership position at the ACCI”.

“The board of ACCI is still to make its decision on its future chief executive,” Billson told Fairfax.

“I’m pleased to be a contender for the role and in a perfect world, I will have time for both roles.”

The FCA will also soon appoint a new chief executive.

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