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Frequently Asked Questions

What is farm debt mediation?
It is a process to provide an efficient and equitable way for farmers and mortgagees to attempt to resolve matters relating to farm business debts.

Is mediation confidential?
It is subject to certain exemptions provided for in the Act. Confidentiality applies to matters discussed or agreed at mediation meetings including anything done for the purpose of arranging or following up a mediation.

Who is involved in mediations?
The parties to mediation are the mortgagee, the farmer and the mediator. Other participants are advisors, who may be your accountant, solicitor, your local Rural Financial Counsellor or some other appropriately qualified person.

Who are mediators?
A mediator is an independent third party who facilitates the negotiation by the parties of their own solution to the dispute. Mediators are accredited by QRIDA and listed in the Register of Mediators on QRIDA’s website.

Who can instigate mediation and how is mediation instigated?
Either the farmer or the mortgagee can initiate mediation by:

  • the mortgagee serving an Enforcement Action Notice along with a copy of the mediation information package to the farmer; or
  • the farmer giving a Request for Mediation Notice to the mortgagee whether or not they are in default. This request does not necessarily need not be in the approved form.

Where can I find more information on what forms and notices to complete?
Details on the forms listed in the Mediation Information Package are available by visiting www.qrida.qld.gov.au

Where can I find a list of mediators?
Details of all accredited mediators are available on the Register of Mediators that is available on the QRIDA website.

How long does the farmer have to respond to an Enforcement Action Notice?
The farmer is allowed 20 business days after the day the Enforcement Action Notice is served on the farmer. If the famer does not ask for mediation within this time, the mortgagee may apply for an exemption certificate to proceed with enforcement action under the farm mortgage.

What should the farmer do when served with an Enforcement Action Notice?
If the farmer wishes to proceed to, or enter into mediation, a response to this notice should be lodged in the form of a Request for Mediation Notice under Section 15 of the Act.

Who nominates the mediator?
The farmer is responsible for nominating three (3) mediators in order of preference from the Register of Mediators.

Who arranges mediation?
On the basis that a mediator has been agreed to, it is the responsibility of the mortgagee to then ask the chosen mediator to arrange the mediation. This includes the time and location of the mediation and the coordination of mediation meetings.

What does it cost?
The cost usually includes the mediator’s fees, mediator’s out of pocket expenses such as travel, accommodation, phone and facsimile costs, together with any hire fee for the venue. The fee rate usually charged by the mediator is published on the Register of Mediators.

Each party to a mediation must pay -

(a) the party’s own costs for the mediation; and

(b) half of the mediator’s fee and costs for the mediation.

How long do I have to provide documents if requested?
30 business days.

What if the parties don’t reach agreement?
If after reasonable attempts an agreement cannot be reached by mediation, the mortgagee may make application to QRIDA for an Exemption Certificate. If the application is approved, the farmer has the right of review of this decision.

How long does mediation take?
There is no prescribed timeframe and mediation may involve one or more meetings. The mediator can provide more specific information as it generally depends on what is agreed by the parties to mediation.

Where should it take place?
Mediation meetings are to be conducted at a place and time that is reasonably convenient to the farmer.

Do I need to keep records?
Both the farmer and the mortgagee should keep accurate records and evidence of the service of notices together with copies of all notices served or given on each other.

How long is the cooling off period after signing a Heads of Agreement?
10 business days.

What should I do if not satisfied with the decision made on an application for a certificate?
A person can apply for an internal review of the original decision, in the approved form, to the chief executive officer within 20 business days after the day the person has been given the information notice for the decision or if the person has not been given an information notice for the decision – the day the person becomes aware of the decision.

How do I respond to the Show Cause Notice?
A written representation is required that needs to be provided to QRIDA within 20 business days from receipt of the Notice.

How do I know the mortgagee isn't passing the costs onto my loan?
The farmer will need to check their balance/s and if this occurs raise it with the mortgagee first and then if not satisfied, raise it with QRIDA.

How do I revoke the Heads of Agreement Form?
A Heads of Agreement can be revoked by completing a Notice 29 - Revoking Head of Agreement.

If mediation fails what can I rely on if further legal action is pursued?
You cannot rely on anything said or done at mediation or notes prepared beforehand and relied on by parties including the mediator at mediation.

How do I know if the Act applies to a farmer or not?
This is included under the ‘key definitions’ link which details the criteria for the application of the Act.

What happens once a farmer makes application for an enforcement action suspension certificate?

  • On receipt of a Form 3 - Application for Enforcement Action Suspension Certificate (stop the mortgagee taking enforcement action) from a farmer, the authority (QRIDA) will issue a Notice S41 – Show Cause Notice to the Mortgagee who has 20 business days to make written representation to show why an enforcement action suspension certificate should not be issued.
  • On receipt of written representation from the mortgagee, QRIDA will provide a copy to the farmer and then decide application within 20 business days after the end of the show cause period.
  • Once QRIDA decides application a Notice S43 – Decision for Enforcement Action Suspension Certificate will be provided to both parties. The outcome is a decision to either approve or refuse the application for an Enforcement Action Suspension Certificate. No other directions or decisions are provided.
  • Dependant on the outcome, either party is entitled to a review (an internal review) of this decision. This is done by completing a Request for Internal Review of Original Decision Form 7 within 20 business days from the day notice was given (this document is provided with the decision notice).
  • Per Section 77(2) The original decision does not take effect until chief executive decides a review application or the end of the last day to apply for an internal review.

What happens once a mortgagee makes application for an exemption certificate?

  • On receipt of a Form 4 - Application for Exemption Certificate (exemption from obligation to mediation) from a mortgagee, the authority (QRIDA) will issue a Notice S50 – Show Cause Notice to the Farmer who has 20 business days to make written representation to show why an exemption certificate should not be issued.
  • On receipt of written representation from the farmer, QRIDA will provide a copy to the mortgagee and then decide application within 20 business days after the end of the show cause period.
  • Once QRIDA decides application a Notice S52 – Decision for Exemption Certificate will be provided to both parties. The outcome is a decision to either approve or refuse the application for an exemption certificate. No other directions or decisions are provided.
  • Dependant on the outcome, either party is entitled to a review (an internal review) of this decision. This is done by completing a Request for Internal Review of Original Decision Form 7 within 20 business days from the day notice was given (this document is provided with the decision notice).
  • Per Section 77(2) The original decision does not take effect until chief executive decides a review application or the end of the last day to apply for an internal review.

Last updated
13 September 2017