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Bryce defends SBDC

THE founder of the Small Business Development Corporation has expressed dismay that the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA has named the SBDC as one of 50 agencies it wants either abolished or privatised in a step towards public sector reform.

Mal Bryce, who established the SBDC and Technology Park at Bentley during the 1980s, said CCIWA had a "hostile disposition" towards the small business body.

"The SBDC, for the past 25 years, has led in the provision of services, encouraging the support and formation of small businesses," he said.

''You can't justify when you have an extremely successful organisation, simply wiping it out because one industry association would like to take over its role.

"The CCI has had a hostile disposition towards the Small Business Development Corporation since its inception and I think every year, for the last 25 years, has urged the government of the day to demolish the corporation in the interests of the CCI.

"The CCI is geared more towards the top end of town. There are very big differences between the industrial needs of the top end of town and large corporations and the vast range of issues that surface for a small business."

Mr Bryce said CCIWA was not equipped to deal with small business issues.

"What you've got inside SBDC is a veritable bank of experience on which small business in WA can count for support during very tough economic times," he said.

"On the surface, the CCI will advocate saving taxpayers' dollars. Under the surface, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever the CCI expect a lucrative contract paid for by taxpayers' dollars to undertake these handpicked aspects of the work that the Small Business Development Corporation does."

CCIWA chief executive James Pearson denied this, saying the chamber represented more than 5,500 members across the state, of which more than 90 per cent were small and medium-sized businesses.

"The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia works closely with the Small Business Development Corporation to assist small business across the state to grow, create more wealth for the state and the nation, expand into new markets, and create jobs," he told WA Business News.

"CCI will continue its long standing push for reform of the public sector to ensure efficient and effective delivery of services, including those that benefit business."

Mr Pearson maintained CCIWA was keen to ensure taxpayers received efficient and effective service and good value for money from their public service.

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Total revenue

24th↓Kimberley Ports Authority$19.2m
25th-Aqwest$15.0m
26th-Small Business Development Corporation$14.6m
27th↑Burswood Park Board$9.8m
28th↓Animal Resources Authority$8.5m
29 state government businesses ranked by total revenue - this year

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