Lynda McAlary-Smith appointed Victorian Small Business Commissioner

Lynda McAlary-Smith

Source: supplied.

Lynda McAlary-Smith has been appointed as the Victorian Small Business Commissioner.

McAlary-Smith will start in the role on August 30, replacing Mark Schramm, who has been acting Commissioner since the retirement of Judy O’Connell in July

McAlary-Smith has previously worked in the public service at both federal and state levels, including as acting deputy Fair Work Ombudsman and recently as the executive director of regulatory operations at the Victorian Building Authority. 

The role of the Small Business Commissioner is to help the state’s more than 644,000 small businesses resolve disputes, as well as providing advice, advocacy and education to the small business community. 

Speaking to SmartCompany, McAlary-Smith said she is excited to “support Victorian small businesses and the incredible people who run them”. 

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the Victorian economy and our communities. We want them to survive and thrive because then our economy and our communities thrive too,” she says. 

“It will be my role to ensure that the government continues to hear and understand the challenges and opportunities for small businesses in Victoria.”

Victorian Small Business Minister Jaala Pulford said she is looking forward to working with McAlary-Smith as she leads the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) and “fights for a fair and competitive environment for small business”.

“I thank Ms O’Connell and Mr Schramm, who made outstanding contributions at a time when the Commission’s work has been important to the survival of many Victorian small businesses,” she added.

The VSBC was established in 2003 and was the first of its kind in Australia. Other states have since followed in establishing small business commission, with Queensland this week making the role of Small Business Commissioner permanent.

According to a statement, the VSBC responded to more than 13,200 enquiries in the last financial year, with many coming from small business owners seeking advice related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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9 months ago

Ms McAlary-Smith rightfully refers to “Small businesses (as) the lifeblood of the Victorian economy and our communities.” She goes on further to say, “We want them to survive and thrive because then our economy and our communities thrive too.” However, we are again faced with yet another Victorian support grant (covid hardship) setting GST registration as an eligibility criteria.
According to the government’s own data, a whopping 28.4% of all businesses have a turnover under $50,000. 83% of all small businesses have a turnover under $100,000. GST registration is only required for businesses with a turnover over $75,000.

The government’s own statistics “indicate the fragility” of these small businesses and their lack of resources.

NSW took a common sense approach to funding support, removing the GST Registration criteria, and applying a tiered approach to eligibility based on loss in turnover as a measure for these businesses to access the much needed funds.

When will the Victorian government stop destroying these small and micro businesses. If it’s not for shutting them down, then adding salt to the wound and limiting their access to support funding.

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