We believe the Farm Debt Mediation Act can be useful for a limited range of farmers with mortgages to banks. Those farmers need to be running viable farms who are confronting financial distress (such as unexpected flooding) which can be best alleviated through “buying time” and not heavily penalised during that time. The Farm Debt Mediation Act forces banks into a mediation process.

A mediation process can be very valuable if the following criteria are met:

  • A mediation is conducted in an atmosphere where the bank is compelled to acknowledge the rights of the farmer and respect the role of the farmer.
  • The farmer’s representative at the mediation is able to demonstrate that the law including the Farm Debt Mediation Act gives some power in a negotiation process which is part of mediation to the farmer.
  • The farmer has a sensible strategy which is financially sound for the farming enterprise and its stakeholders (being the farmer and the bank).
  • The farmer does not surrender to the bank too much control of the business or the farm, merely because the stress of the debt has become too heavy a burden on the farming family or business.

Farmers who can most benefit from mediation under the Farm Debt Mediation Act are those that are prepared to utilise professional services in the conduct of the mediation in the same way that they use professional services in other aspects of their farm business. For example, many successful dairy farmers use nutritionists to monitor the health of their livestock, agricultural scientists to monitor the health of their pastures and crops.

These farmers will identify the management of a farm mortgage in the same way as they identify the management of their crops and livestock. An accountant can be a valuable manager of farm debt but most accountants confine their role to reporting of financial outcomes rather than managing the mortgage as a cost input. Accountants often do not have the motivation, interest or skills to represent a farmer in a contest with the bank.

The skills required to negotiate on behalf of a person (a farmer) with an obviously weaker bargaining position than a bank must not be underestimated. We believe we can offer those skills to a farmer if we are properly instructed. Cost on most negotiations for a mediation is $5,000 to $10,000. For some free information on the Act please email a request to olivia@mcdonaldmurholme.com.au.

Our clients' satisfaction is pivotal to our own success.

  • July 2020

    I wouldn't hesitate to recommend McDonald Murholme. From the initial consultation, right through to the resolution process, the entire team was supportive, knowledgable and approachable and made what can be a difficult situation much easier. Specifically Trent and Alexandra provided a high level of service, and engaged with me in a very personable manner. I am extremely satisfied with the service I received.
  • July 2020

    I couldn't recommend the team from McDonald Murholme more. Mr Sam Nottle was efficient, professional and achieved a wonderful result. If you are questioning whether to go ahead with an employment matter legally, I would urge you to do so. The team at McDonald Murholme made the process easy & reduced all of my anxiety and stress. Thank you again, Mr Nottle & team, I can't express my appreciation enough.
  • June 2020

    I found Arthur Hambas & Katherine Boyles extremely professional & compassionate in my dealings with them. After telling Arthur that I felt the details surrounding my redundancy felt wrong he took on my case & secured me a better payout from my employer. I would not hesitate to recommend Mcdonald Murholme to anyone that has a feeling that something isn't quite right. I greatly appreciate everything you did.
  • May 2020

    Extremely happy with the service received from all the staff members i had to deal with. The lawyer allocated for my case (Michael Kriewaldt) was extremely professional and handled the case very smoothly. Highly recommend their services.
  • May 2020

    I found Arthur Hambas & Katherine Boyles extremely professional & compassionate in my dealings with them. After telling Arthur that I felt the details surrounding my redundancy felt wrong he took on my case & secured me a better payout from my employer. I would not hesitate to recommend Mcdonald Murholme to anyone that has a feeling that something isn't quite right. I greatly appreciate everything you did.
  • April 2020

    The solicitors at the firm were very prompt and actioned my complaint against my employer very quickly. I obtained the result I wanted, in fact, I got a better result than what I had originally asked for. I was very pleased with the results and would highly recommend McDonald Murholme.
  • March 2020

    I would like to say that McDonald Murholme have treated me with nothing but professionalism and also great service. Trent, a principal in the firm is attentive to your needs and will ensure your case is handled with care and mindful consideration to all parameters involved.

Speak to an employment lawyer who has acted for thousands of employees like you.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.