Under the Farm Debt Mediation scheme mediation services are provided by the Victorian Small Business Commissioner. The Victorian Small Business Commissioner is an independent office established by the Victorian government to assist small business – including farm businesses.
Farm debt mediation is low-cost. The cost of mediation is currently $195 per session for each participant. Parties are responsible for their own travel and preparation costs in attending mediation.
Mediations will generally be conducted within six weeks of being brought before the Small Business Commissioner. While complex cases may take longer, there are also provisions in the legislation for the Small Business Commissioner to terminate the mediation process after three months if mediation has not occurred.
Mediations are generally concluded in one session. However, this depends on the circumstances of individual cases.
The Office of the Small Business Commissioner may be contacted on 13 22 15 or www.vsbc.vic.gov.au.