Mediation is a process where the parties in a dispute voluntarily come together to discuss their matter with the help of an independent mediator. During mediation parties are encouraged to identify and explore options to resolve their dispute. The mediator does not make a decision regarding the outcome and is only present to help the parties reach their own agreement.
Who can access mediation?
The Small Business Commissioner oversees the mediation service in Western Australia. This service aims to resolve business to business, retail shop lease, and business to government disputes involving at least one small business. The dispute must involve a property or business located (or service delivered) within Western Australia.
How long is each session?
Each session usually run for around four hours. In most cases, one session is usually sufficient to reach an agreement, but more can be arranged if required.
The cost of mediation is $125 per party per session. This is subsidised, with the majority of the cost being covered by the State Government.
If a mediation session is cancelled within three business days of the appointed time, a cancellation fee of $900 (the full cost of mediation) will apply to the party that cancelled.
The benefits of mediation include:
- the issues in dispute can be clarified
- the parties in dispute are in control of the outcome and negotiate their own agreement
- it is inexpensive and efficient compared with taking the matter to court
- the approach is informal but structured
- it improves the likelihood of the business relationship continuing between the parties after the dispute is over
- discussions are confidential and cannot be used by the parties in any legal proceedings
Location of mediation sessions
In the Perth metropolitan area, mediations are generally held at our premises at Level 2, 140 William Street, Perth.
In regional areas, mediations can be arranged in a location that suits both parties.
Applying for mediation
Your SBDC case manager will advise if mediation is the next step to take. If it is, you will be provided with an application form and mediation reference number.