We appreciate the unique nature of Queensland small businesses and recognise that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. To ensure we do our best to help small businesses thrive, we will:
Be dedicated to our vision
Deliver empathetic services
Provide practical solutions
is an experienced stakeholder advocate.
Previously, as CEO of the National Retail Association (NRA), Dominique advocated on all areas of policy at a federal and state government level. For instance, she played an integral role in the development of the federal leasing code throughout the COVID lockdown period with industry organisations representing landlords and tenants. Before this, Dominique was Director of NRA Legal providing industrial relations and employment law advice. Dominque has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to the industry with multiple awards and finalist nods.
The Queensland Small Business Commissioner (QSBC) commenced operation on 28 May 2020 under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 (CER Act) and transitioned to a permanent service under the Small Business Commissioner Act 2022 (SBC Act) on 3 May 2022.
The main object of the SBC Act is to enhance the operating environment for small businesses in Queensland and reduce the time and costs associated with resolving disputes involving small businesses.
The SBC Act includes 8 functions for the small business commissioner (expanded from 5 under the temporary arrangements) including:
- to provide a central point of contact in relation to matters affecting small businesses; and
- to provide information and advisory services to the public about matters relating to small businesses; and
- to assist parties in reaching an informal resolution for small business disputes, including by facilitating the exchange of information between the parties; and
- to provide alternative dispute resolution services and administer a mediation process for small business disputes; and
- to advocate on behalf of small businesses to the State, the Commonwealth, another State or a local government; or any other entity involved in administering a matter relevant to small businesses; and
- to work collaboratively with the equivalent of the commissioner in other States or the Commonwealth to enhance conditions for small businesses; and
- to perform functions conferred on the commissioner under another Act; and
- to carry out other activities to further the objects of this Act, as directed by the Minister.
The QSBC provides a range of services for small businesses under the Small Business Commissioner Act 2022 including raising awareness, sharing information, advocacy, and providing support and assistance.
The QSBC also has jurisdiction of retail tenancy disputes and related mediations under the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 (RSL Act).
The Small Business Commissioner may make certain decisions under the SBC Act 2022.
National Small Business Commissioners’ forum
The Commissioner collaborates as part of the National Small Business Commissioners’ (NSBC) forum. Participants include the small business commissioners of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia together with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO).
Officers from the QSBC also regularly collaborate with officers from ASBFEO and interstate Commissioners’ offices via a National Strategy Group, which focuses on national small business policy and advocacy matters, and a National Assistance Group, which focuses on continuously improving assistance and dispute outcomes.
Office of Productivity and Red Tape Reduction
The QSBC collaborates with the Office of Productivity and Red Tape Reduction (OPRTR) on red tape reduction activities. The QSBC regularly provides feedback from small businesses and stakeholders to OPRTR about regulatory barriers and the compliance burden. The QSBC also participates in Queensland Government regulatory reviews led by OPRTR.
Statement of Expectations
Directions from the Minister
Under the SBC Act 2022, the Minister may give the commissioner a direction in writing.