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Peter Strong will present a case that our economy is currently being held back as too many decisions that affect the economy are made by too few people and institutions on behalf of everyone else. Peter will argue for a program of local economic development that empowers business people to influence the development of their smaller economies. If many small economies across the nation are managing change and functioning well then the whole economy will benefit.
Peter believes a major impediment for managing change and fostering growth in the national economy is the small number of institutions and businesses that see their needs as above the needs of the community or they believe that the community needs to be saved from itself by their imperial like decisions. Due to their dominance and power they have become the new ruling class and like all ruling class they have become inbred and a drain on productivity and innovation. These autocratic institutions and businesses need to become more transparent and consultative and more accountable for their behaviours and actions. Empowering local business communities across the nation will force transparency and create the environment from which innovators and risk takers can emerge.
Peter Strong is the head of the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA). He participates in various advisory groups to the Australian government including: Chairman of Treasury’s Business Advisory Forum on Standard Business Reporting (SBR); a Board member of the SBR Board; a member of the Australian Tax Commissioners small business advisory group; member of the ATO’s specialist advisory group on the GST; the ACCC’s small business advisory forum; the Business Advisory Forum for ASIC; various business related groups with Prime Minister & Cabinet, Treasury, DFAT and the Department of Innovation.
In the past Peter has been the Deputy Chairman of the Small Business Advisory Committee; a participant in the COAG Business Leaders Forum; an attendee at the 2012 Tax Summit and Economic Forums; participant in various round tables on industry issues including the motor industry, superannuation and finance.
Peter owned and managed Smiths Alternative Bookshop in Canberra from 2005 to 2013.
In the past Peter has operated as a consultant to government agencies, the World Bank and the United Nations mainly on issues to do with economic reform, business development, training, change management and industry restructuring. This included work in the old Soviet Union as the mass retrenchment expert in the Central Asian states; a microeconomic reform expert in Turkey assisting that country prepare for entry to the European union; work in China assisting the government set up support networks for women in small business; and in Vietnam working on business incubators.