Farm Debt Mediation Act 1994 No 91
17 Representation and assistance during mediation
(1) A party to mediation is not entitled to be represented by an agent unless it appears to the mediator that:
(a) an agent should be permitted to facilitate the mediation, and
(b) the agent proposed to be appointed has sufficient knowledge of the issue concerned to enable the agent to represent the party effectively,
and the mediator so approves.
(2) Subsection (1) does not prevent a corporation within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth that is a party to a mediation from being represented at the mediation by an officer of the corporation.
(3) If the mediator approves of the representation of a party by an agent, the approval of the mediator may be given subject to such conditions as the mediator considers reasonable to ensure that the other party to the mediation is not substantially disadvantaged by the agent appearing at the mediation and, if the mediator does so approve, the entitlement of the agent to represent the party is subject to compliance by the agent with the conditions.
(3A) Any person representing a party to a mediation (whether or not the person is himself or herself a party to the mediation) must not attend a mediation session unless the person has been given written authority by the party the person represents to enter into Heads of Agreement.
(3B) If another mediation session is required as a result of a party’s failure to give the required authority, the party is liable for all costs associated with the attendance by the other party at that additional session.
(4) A farmer who is a party to mediation is entitled to have present at any mediation session an advisor, who may but need not be legally or otherwise professionally qualified, and is entitled to call upon that advisor for advice and counsel during the session.
(5) Nothing in subsection (4) affects the operation of section 14 (1)–(3).
(6) A contravention of this section does not invalidate a mediation.