Equitable resolution for farms in debt
QUEENSLAND producers experiencing financial difficulty will be better protected from July 1 when mandatory farm business debt mediation comes into effect, Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne has announced.
The Farm Business Debt Mediation Act prevents lenders from foreclosing on farming properties without first offering formal mediation.
“This initiative of the Palaszczuk Government’s Rural Assistance Package replaces a previous voluntary scheme,” Mr Byrne said.
“Now, by requiring lenders and producers to enter into mediation, we’re protecting our producers and farm land by ensuring access to an efficient and equitable process which benefits both parties.”
The process will be conducted by an independent mediator agreed to by both parties.
Mediators will be appointed and accredited by QRAA in conjunction with the Queensland Law Society and Queensland Bar Association.
“QRAA has consulted extensively with stakeholders and organisations on both sides of the fence,” Mr Byrne said.
“The result is a program in which all interests are represented equitably.”
Farmers currently experiencing difficulties should speak to their bank or financial institution as early as possible and seek advice from their financial advisors.