The Farm Debt Mediation Act 2018 (SA) establishes a scheme whereby it is compulsory for banks and other creditors to offer mediation to South Australian farmers before commencing debt recovery proceedings for certain farm debts.
The Office of the Small Business Commissioner SA is responsible for administering the farm debt mediation scheme, including arranging for a mediator and providing advice on the mediation process to all parties to the dispute [see Farm Debt Mediation Act 2018 (SA) ss 20, 22].
The farm debt mediation scheme only applies to farm debts, being a debt incurred by a farmer for the purposes of the conduct of a farming operation that is wholly or partly secured by a farm mortgage. A farmer for the purposes of the Act is a person who is solely or principally engaged in farming operation, which can include:
- agricultural ,pastoral, horticultural, viticultural, forestry or apicultural activities;
- poultry or dairy farming;
- aquaculture or propagation or harvesting of fish.
See Farm Debt Mediation Act 2018 (SA) s 4.
More information on the farm debt mediation scheme can be found on the Office for the Small Business Commissioner SA website.
Rural Business Support also offers financial information and support services to primary producers and small rural business experiencing financial hardship. Visit the Rural Business Support website or freecall 1800 836 211 for more information.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.