Small Business Association of Australia Summit Day One

    An unprecedented collaboration of key stakeholders, Government and business owners, with the sole agenda to bring about much needed positive and long lasting change, began today at the inaugural Small Business Association of Australia Summit held at Southern Cross University.

    Due to conclude tomorrow and with the collective purpose of developing and providing a supportive platform for all Small to Medium Enterprises. Some of the key outcomes and debates from today were opening channels between Small Business and Government, such as the ATO, looking at better education for small businesses and working towards better access such as better internet.

    All delegates were passionate about creating the first Small Business Charter of Australia. Founder/ CEO of Small Business Association of Australian, Mrs Anne Nalder opened the Summit. “Let’s get the ball rolling and start change from now, it is up to us, you can’t expect government to do everything, we need to help governments as well, if you have a strong small business sector you are going to have a strong economy, it’s as simple as that.”

    Corporate Structures of the Future for SME’s was very informative, Anthony (Tony) Cerantonio, Principle, Forensic Accounting Group outlined “Structures to me is like a foundation of a building, if the structure is wrong, it’s going to collapse. What needs to happen is people in small business need to undergo some sort of course to understand what kind of structure is suitable to their needs.”

    “They are handicapped by the rules and the banking institutions who have made it so tough, I applaud Anne Nalder for making this organization, we need to air our voice.” Representatives from the ATO who were at the Summit said they are happy to open lines of communication and to hear and understand the real world challenges facing small business.


    Fostering Entrepreneurship & Innovation was a very passionate topic and it was obvious by the conversations that it means many things to every small to medium business. Everyone agreed that lead agencies need to provide the right tools, pathways, and infrastructure such as internet and education and collaboration is the key to fostering support for each other and ultimately success.

    Industrial Relations expert Leigh Bernhardt FAHRI, PRIArb1,Med, JP (Qual), QCAT QLD Managing Director & Principal Consultant, Leigh Bernhardt Corporate Consulting Services Pty Ltd believes that we need to get all the parties to work together instead of using Industrial Relations as a political agenda. “Issues we need to raise for the Charter are issues I deal with every day, it’s a matter of structure, people are not paying the right rates in a lot of industries but the rates are there, we need to address some flexibility.

    “We need a bargaining system, Google the world penalty, if you’re a nightclub they operate Friday, Saturday, Sunday nights but it is still applied as a Penalty, they are operating a business that didn’t exist 100 years ago. The type of reform I believe we need to talk about is reform for unfair dismissal, section 340 of the act needs some work, this law applies to potential employees,” explained Bernhardt.

    Further Agenda and ket topic statements:


    Greg Jennings, Director, Proactive compliance and Education, Fair Work Ombudsman
    On: Industrial Relations and what Fair Work Australia currently provides for Small Businesses

    “We enjoy working with organisations such as the Small Business Association of Australian and attending events like this Summit as we get to hear first-hand what Small Business’s want.”

    “We have a pragmatic approach, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to comply with the laws, our job is to help small business understand and improve their workplace practices and then get out of the way and let them run their business.

    John Codrington Director Butler Hardy Corporate
    On: Corporate Structures of the Future for SME’s

    “We have how many states and a federal government? If you have a look at what the Europeans have done and the vast amount of structures they have had to undo, they had structure’s where you could go bankrupt once, and you would have to leave town, they took something worse than what we had, we only have seven states, they have been doing that for long enough so people know what’s working and what’s not.”

    Colin Coverdale CMC, MAICD, MIMC, FAIM, FNZIM
    Managing Director Opportune, NFP Limited & Institute of Small Business Owners
    On: Corporate Structures of the Future for SME’s

    “Why can’t we make it simpler, I vowed to myself and joined Anne’s organization, to explain to the Government that we are too tied up in unnecessary Junk.”

    The ten topics, or pillars, to be covered at the two-day Summit include:


    1. Corporate Structures of the Future for SMEs
    2. Fostering Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    3. Industrial Relations
    4. The Internet of Everything – technology challenges and opportunities for SMEs
    5. Help SMEs Internationalise Through Trade
    6. Financing Small Business
    7. The Tax System simplified for SMEs
    8. The Legal System simplified for SMEs
    9. Making Regulations Responsive to SME needs and;
    10. Made in Australia – Manufacturing.

    Media Opportunity – Day Two
    TIME: 12.30PM
    VENUE: Building B, Level 3, Southern Cross University, Gold Coast Campus

    ADDRESS: Southern Cross Dr, Bilinga QLDThe below expert delegates will be available for Interviews;
    Ged Kearney President ACTU
    Kate Carnell, AO Ombudsman -Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
    Anne Nalder, Founder/ CEO – Small Business Association of Australia
    Leigh Bernhardt FAHRI, PRIArb1,Med, JP (Qual), QCAT QLD Managing Director & Principal Consultant Leigh Bernhardt Corporate Consulting Services Pty Ltd Expert in: Industrial Relations
    Colin Coverdale CMC, MAICD, MIMC, FAIM, FNZIM Managing Director Opportune NFP Limited & Institute of Small Business Owners Expert on: Financing Small Business – Grants
    Anthony (Tony) Cerantonio Senior Partner Forensic Accounting Group Expert On: Corporate Structures of The Future for SME’s & The Tax System simplified for SMEs
    James Stokes, LLB (Hons), CTA, Accredited Specialist Business Law QLD Legal Practitioner Director Stokes Moore Expert on: The Legal System Simplified for SMEs
    Lionel Barden Managing Director Eco Energy Group Limited Expert on: Made in Australia
    The Small Business Assocaition inaugural Summit heald at Southern Cross University concludes tomorrow, Wednedsay May 31, 2017.