Hon Ken Baston MLC

Hon Ken Baston MLC

Former Minister for Agriculture and Food; Fisheries

Hon Joe Francis MLA

Hon Joe Francis MLA

Former Minister for Emergency Services; Fisheries; Corrective Services; Veterans

    Financial help on the way for farm businesses

    5/06/2015 12:00 AM
    • ​A voluntary scheme will help farm businesses resolve financial concerns

    The State Government has established a scheme to assist farm and pastoral businesses to settle disputes with their finance providers.


    Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston and Small Business Minister Joe Francis today announced the Farm Debt Mediation Scheme would provide access to an independent, trained mediator to assist disputing parties to reach a resolution. 


    "The scheme will help participants to identify the issues, consider their options and facilitate a resolution," Mr Baston said.


    "Early intervention is essential in these matters, when attempts by the parties to resolve a dispute have been unsuccessful."


    Access to the scheme can be initiated by either the farm or pastoral business or the financial institution, and although not mandatory, all parties are encouraged to participate.


    The Farm Debt Mediation Scheme will be administered by the Rural Business Development Corporation at the Department of Agriculture and Food, with mediation facilitated by the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) through its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service.


    Mr Francis encouraged farm or pastoral businesses involved in disputes with their finance providers to consider using the scheme.


    "The SBDC has a successful track record in resolving commercial disputes in a timely, non-litigious way, saving time and money and preserving sound working relationships between the parties," Mr Francis said. 


    "For the Farm Debt Mediation Scheme, the SBDC has customised its ADR service to the needs of farm and pastoral businesses."


    Mr Baston also welcomed the first meeting today of the Agrifinance Alliance Western Australia, an industry-driven forum that will provide a central point for the main agricultural financial institutions in Western Australia.


    Fact File

    Minister's office - 6552 5400