David Eaton became Western Australia’s first Small Business Commissioner and CEO of the Small Business Development Corporation in January 2012.
The position of Small Business Commissioner was established by the Western Australian Parliament, through the Small Business Development Corporation Act 1983.
In this dual role the Commissioner is dedicated to:
- facilitating access to information and practical support for small businesses
- providing assistance to resolve business-to-business disputes
- investigating complaints about unfair practices impacting small businesses
- advocating to all levels of government for policies and regulation which supports the establishment and growth of small businesses, and
- offering advice to the WA Minister for Small Business
One of the core functions the Commissioner oversees is our dispute resolution service. This is a low-cost way to resolve business-to-business and business-to-government disputes, avoiding court action and preserving business relationships.
Under the Small Business Development Corporation Amendment Bill 2019, the Commissioner has the authority to investigate complaints of poor behaviour that adversely impacts upon small businesses. There is a particular focus on delayed and non-payment within the construction industry. He will also examine matters identified through data analysis or insights gained from other government agencies.
The Commissioner works to improve the operating environment by advising public sector bodies on the impact of legislation and policies on the small business sector. He has a particular focus on reducing the burden of unnecessary compliance processes.
The WA Small Business Commissioner is a founding member of the National Forum of Small Business Commissioners. Along with his peers from South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, the Commissioner progresses legislative and policy returns of national significance within the forum.