Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced yesterday that Victorian MP, Kelly O’Dwyer, will replace Bruce Billson as Small Business Minister in a move that sent “shockwaves” through the small business community.
Peter Strong, CEO of the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) said “there is no doubt that the decision to remove Bruce Billson from the Cabinet and the Small Business Ministry has sent a shockwave through the small business community. A great Minister doing a fabulous job, who has received intense praise from small business for his measurable level of success is no longer in the job.”
As part of the reshuffle, Ms O’Dwyer has also been appointed to the role of Assistant Treasurer, formerly held by Josh Frydenberg, who is now Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia.
While expressing shock at the removal of Bruce Billson, COSBOA welcomed Ms O’Dwyer to the role.
Mr Strong said “we congratulate Kelly O’Dwyer on her promotion to the role and look forward to catching up and discussing issues of immediate relevance to the 2.1m Small Business people who employ over 5m additional taxpayers.
“The appointment of a woman into this role, who is also in Cabinet, also augers well for the hundreds of thousands of women, probably more than 1.2 million, who run their own businesses.”
The Hon. Bruce Billson said in s statement that he hoped to remain in the role “leading the Coalition’s work on ‘energising enterprise.’”
“Having made this ambition clear, Prime Minister Turnbull and I spoke today and I was advised that I would not be provided that opportunity,” he said.