Farm Machinery?

September 25, 2012

His Honour Perram J commenced his judgment in Waller v Yamaha Motor Finance [2012] FCA 934 by stating the issue for determination as:

In Lightning Ridge Local Aboriginal Land Council v Premier of New South Wales in his capacity as the State Minister pursuant to the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) [2012] FCA 792 at [31]-[32], I determined that the expression ‘tourist facility’ included a reptile park. In this morning’s case, I must determine whether the word ‘tractor’ includes an agricultural quad bike. If it does, then it will be farm machinery within the meaning of the Farm Debt Mediation Act 1994 (NSW) (“FDMA”)

Of course if the FDMA applies there are mandatory mediation steps that have to be taken before proceedings can be commenced. As there had been no mediation, if a quad bike was farm machinery the proceedings were fatally flawed. Although his Honour ultimately found that a quad bike was not farm machinery, he did say, at [6]:

“The material certainly showed that a quad bike could be used for many activities which a small tractor can be used for as well.  It can plough, it can spray vines, it can tow other devices of many descriptions and it could do many other things besides.  It is a veritable Swiss Army knife for the paddocks….”

Creative commons acknowledgement for the photograph.

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