Business browned off

CLIVE Brown’s selection as Minister for Small Business has drawn a mixed reaction from WA’s small business community.

Until Labor’s election win, he was shadow spokesman for small business, commerce and trade and science and technology.

His links with the union movement have made him unpopular with most small business factions.

Some people in small business have been calling for a Minister who solely represented their interests.

Instead, under Premier Geoff Gallop’s reduced cabinet, Mr Brown draws responsibility for State Deve-lopment and Goldfields-Esperance, including Tourism, Mining, Resources and Commerce and Trade as well as Small Business.

Combined Small Business Assoc-iations of WA president Oliver Moon said small business would have to wait and see what Mr Brown did for them.

“But on face value this would have to be a reflection of the new Govern-ment’s contempt for small business,” Mr Moon said.

“The man is a former Trades and Labour Council secretary. Unions have traditionally been no friend of small business.

“We are bitterly disappointed. Labor could have at least appointed one of their number who’s been in small business.”

WA Retailers Association CEO Martin Dempsey said his organisation had hoped for a Minister that was solely concerned with small business.

“If there is going to be a continuation of the same-old situation, the WA Retailers Association will be bitterly disappointed,” Mr Dempsey said.

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