THE future of the Small Business Development Corporation as an independent entity remains uncertain.Small Business Minister Clive Brown has denied Labor has any plans to do away with the organisation.However, Mr Brown did not rule out any plans to amalgamate the SBDC with another Government department such as the WA Department of Training.“Labor policy released before the election proposed a task force would be established to review and place departments and agencies into the 14 large areas of Government responsibility,” he said.“I do not envisage any change that will see the demise of the SBDC.”Labor’s small business policy mentions an extra $500,000 funding over four years to the SBDC to enhance its advocacy and advisory role.The policy’s role for the SBDC includes reviewing Government regulations to cut down red tape and becoming a one-stop-shop for the payment of Government charges and collection of licensing forms.However, small business groups are opposed to the SBDC becoming a part of another Government agency especially the WADoT, which is considered too bureaucratic.They fear it will drastically reduce the SBDC’s effectiveness to service small business.Combined Small Businesses of WA president Oliver Moon said rolling the SBDC into another Government department would emasculate it.He said the SBDC had won the respect of small business because of the way it was structured, with a board made up of people from within small business.“What will become of that board if they are drawn into a Government department?” Mr Moon asked.“If the Government puts the SBDC into WADoT we’ll have major concerns.“COSBA has been trying to get WADoT to enunciate the Government’s small business training policy for years. They still haven’t been able to do it.“It’ll be typical if Mr Brown does that. Further evidence of this Government’s arrogance and contempt for small business.”
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