I am honoured to be appointed as Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services today in Bill Shorten's front bench team. 

Small businesses are the engine room of the Australian economy comprising 97% of all businesses employing more than 4.7 million Australians.

Bill Shorten has recognised the important role that these businesses play in the economy by ensuring that the portfolio remains at the shadow cabinet level. This is in stark contrast to Malcolm Turnbull who has muted the voice of small business by making it a non-cabinet position in his government.

Talking to and listening to small businesses, supporting a level playing field for small business, lowering the small business tax rate, addressing access to capital, increasing employment opportunities and ensuring a modern and efficient regulatory environment are all key priorities for me in this new role.

In the financial services portfolio it is clear that the Government continues to be deeply divided over their planned changes to superannuation. Ensuring the integrity and fairness of the super system remains a priority for Labor.

A strong financial services industry is critical to Australia's continued economic prosperity.

Our commitment to hold a Royal Commission into the financial services industry was to ensure that any systemic issues facing the industry were examined and addressed in a thorough and transparent way. Labor will continue to call for measures that address systemic issues and ensure that the sector responds and meets the needs of its customers.

I look forward to working with portfolio stakeholders and my caucus and parliamentary colleagues in my new role and particularly acknowledge the hard work of Michelle Rowland and Jim Chalmers in these portfolio areas over the past year. 

There is much work ahead to hold the Turnbull Government to account and I look forward to the challenges ahead. 

SUNDAY, 24 JULY 2016

Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services.

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