Farm Business Debt Mediation
As of 1 July 2017,the Farm Business Debt Mediation Act 2017 (Qld) (the Act) replaced the voluntary mediation scheme that was part of the Queensland Farm Finance Strategy.
The purpose of the Act is to provide an efficient and equitable way for farmers and mortgagees to attempt to resolve matters relating to farm business debts.
Mediation is required before mortgagees can take possession of a property or other enforcement action under a farm mortgage.
Financial problems farmers encounter are managed and addressed if they are recognised at the earliest possible stage. It's important that farmers engage the mortgagee and other advisors or agencies that include their accountant, a Rural Financial Counsellor, Legal Aid and other parties to assist them.
If matters remain unresolved, mediation provides a structured negotiation process in which the mediator, as a neutral and independent person, can assist the farmer and the mortgagee with the aim to bring about an agreement. Mediation is confidential and usually cheaper and quicker than arbitration or litigation.
The key participants in the mediation process are:
- advisors and agents.
QRIDA is responsible for administering the mediation process. All parties to mediation have a responsibility to complete all relevant notices to allow mediation to occur. Guidelines, notices and forms are made available in a fillable PDF format on this website.
Register of Mediators
Frequently asked questions
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.
This is included under the ‘key definitions’ link which details the criteria for the application of the Act.
30 business days.
If after reasonable attempts an agreement cannot be reached at 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.
The farmer is responsible for nominating three (3) mediators in order of preference from the Register of Mediators.
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.
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.
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.
10 business days.