National farm debt mediation scheme expected by mid-2020

National farm debt mediation scheme expected by mid-2020


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Rural Finance Minister David Littleproud says he will work with state and territory to deliver a national farm debt mediation scheme. Photo AAP / Mick Tsikas.

Rural Finance Minister David Littleproud says he will work with state and territory to deliver a national farm debt mediation scheme. Photo AAP / Mick Tsikas.

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Federal government is working with states to deliver the key rural recommendation from the Banking royal Commission.

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A nationalised farm debt mediation scheme will be up and running by the middle of next year, according to Rural Finance Minister David Littleproud.

Harmonisation of the various state mediation schemes was the key rural issue in the Banking Royal Commission's 54 recommendations to the federal government, which was handed down in February.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced this week an "implementation road map" and said at least 50 of the recommendations would be in place by mid-2020.

When the Royal Commission's report was finalised state and territory governments agreed in principle to a national farm debt mediation scheme.

Mr Littleproud said he'd ensure they're still on board at the next ministerial council meeting, later this year.

"I'll reinforce the need for a national scheme with states and territories when agriculture ministers meet in October and expect to have it in place by the middle of next year,' Mr Littleproud said.

"A uniform approach will clear up confusion that's created by different rules in different states."

Farmers hold around $60 billion in bank loans and Mr Littleproud said a national mediation scheme would help lenders and borrowers address financial difficulties.

"It's time to act on this with drought taking more of a stranglehold," Mr Littleproud said.

"Banks need to be fair and patient, especially as pay cheques can be 12 months apart.

"The Royal Commission showed the need for change was undeniable and Australians expect a definitive response to the Commissioner's recommendations."

The story National farm debt mediation scheme expected by mid-2020 first appeared on Farm Online.

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