Farm Debt Mediation passes Parliament

Greater protection and financial security will be provided to farmers with the Farm Debt Mediation Bill today passing through the South Australian parliament.

The new legislation will enforce a mandatory mediation process before a creditor is able to foreclose on a farming operation.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said farmers could “rest assured” the government had put in place a mechanism to help protect their financial interests.

“Farming can be an unpredictable and challenging industry, leaving farming families and their assets vulnerable in times of financial crisis,” he said.

“That’s why the Marshall Government has moved to ensure farmers have greater financial security.

“This scheme gives our farmers something more to rely upon in difficult times, knowing they will now have enshrined in law the right to a mandatory process to resolve financial problems by presenting their case with an independent mediator.”

Mr Whetstone said the agriculture sector was vital to the state’s future economic prosperity.

“We want to ensure that South Australian farmers are given every opportunity to succeed, meet the growing demand for agricultural produce, and contribute to regional prosperity, the state’s economy, jobs and exports.”

The South Australian Small Business Commissioner will take on the administration of the new scheme, as soon as the Governor proclaims the commencement of the Farm Debt Mediation Act 2018.