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The Queensland Small Business Commissioner's role
The Queensland Small Business Commissioner is a statutory office holder, temporarily established until 31 December 2020 under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020.
The Office of the Queensland Small Business Commissioner (OQSBC) provides information and advocacy support to small businesses, and informal resolution and mediation of coronavirus (COVID-19) affected small business leases.
Who the OQSBC helps
- Small business owners based in Queensland
- Small business lease tenants and landlords based in Queensland.
What the OQSBC does
The key functions of the OQSBC include:
- providing information and advisory services to small businesses in Queensland about matters relevant to them
- assisting small businesses with informal resolution of COVID-19 small business leasing disputes. This includes providing initial information and advisory services, and pre-mediation services to connect tenants and landlords to try to identify solutions prior to progressing to mediation
- administering a small business lease dispute mediation process (where information or pre-mediation support has not resolved the dispute), before progressing to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) or the courts for dispute resolution.
The Commissioner also advocates for Queensland small businesses at the state and national level, including:
- contributing to the national small business agenda as member of the National Small Business Commissioners network
- acting as an interface between the Queensland and Australian Governments on matters affecting Queensland small businesses
- advocating on behalf of small businesses to the Queensland Government.
Maree Adshead's story
Maree Adshead is the Queensland Small Business Commissioner. The Commissioner aims to advocate, enable and empower small businesses to help drive economic growth in Queensland.
Maree is an experienced advocate and small business owner having spent 10 years in the legal profession, and as partner of a tier one national law firm. She co-founded and built her own successful software start-up businesses which received multiple awards for excellence in innovation, and has also been instrumental in helping others to build theirs. She became founding CEO of the Open Data Institute (ODI) Australian Network in 2014, which was dedicated to enabling business, industry, academia and government to use public data as a strategic resource.
In 2017 Maree was appointed inaugural Queensland Small Business Champion establishing a trusted interface between business and government, advocating on behalf of the Queensland small business community, as well as triaging and referring disputes. Having achieved great work for Queenslanders as Small Business Champion, Maree now leads the Office of the Queensland Small Business Commissioner.
Small businesses can contact the Office of the Queensland Small Business Commissioner by submitting an enquiry or request for help or can call 1300 312 344.