Farm busi­ness debt me­di­a­tion info

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL LIFE - Adam McCleery adam.mccleery@cnbtimes.com.au

AS OF July 1 2017 the Farm Busi­ness Debt Me­di­a­tion Act 2017 re­places 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 en­coun­tered by farm­ers are more able to be ad­van­ta­geously man­aged and ad­dressed if they are recog­nised at the ear­li­est pos­si­ble stage.

There­fore, it is very 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.

The key par­tic­i­pants in the me­di­a­tion process are farm­ers, mort­gagees, me­di­a­tors, ad­vi­sors and agents.

The Queens­land Ru­ral and In­dus­try De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity is re­spon­si­ble for ad­min­is­ter­ing the me­di­a­tion process.

All par­ties to me­di­a­tion have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to com­plete all rel­e­vant no­tices to al­low me­di­a­tion to oc­cur.

You can find all the rel­e­vant info at qrida.qld.gov.au.

Please phone QRAA with any ques­tions on Freecall 1800 623 946.

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