The Marshall Government has delivered on an important election promise to provide greater protection and financial security for 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.
“South Australians farmers can rest assured the Marshall Government is supporting our farmers and has now put in place a mechanism to help protect their financial interests,” said Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone.
“I’d like to thank the many stakeholders whose input and support helped shape this legislation, from our primary producers through to the financial services sector.
“Farming can be an unpredictable and challenging industry, leaving farming families and their assets vulnerable in times of financial crisis.
“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.
“A healthy and supported agriculture sector is 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.
“Mandatory farm debt mediation already operates successfully in New South Wales, Victoria and now Queensland.
“The Marshall Government is ensuring South Australian farmers have the same protections as their counterparts on the eastern seaboard.”
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.