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.