After the Appointment of an Ombudsmanís Representative
Once the Ombudsmanís Representative has been appointment, he or she will ask for any travel expenses to be paid in advance and will ask you to sign an appointment agreement which makes your meeting confidential between everyone there. The Ombudsmanís Representative will then discuss with everyone what is an appropriate time and place to meet.
Who are the Ombudsmanís Representatives?
The PGIO has created a panel of independent and neutral people located around Australia. They are trained and experienced mediators and have got to know the main problems about produce supply disputes. They have all agreed to follow the procedures set up by the PGIO.
You will be given a form to send back to PGIO giving your feedback about the meeting with the Ombudsmanís Representative.
During the Meeting
The meeting with the Ombudsmanís Representative is relaxed and informal. On average it might only take 2 hours although sometimes it will take longer.
The Ombudsmanís Representative will ask each person to explain the problem as they see it. Then there will be further discussion until a solution is found by everyone. That will be written down and be binding.
Who can attend the meeting?
You must make sure that you have authority to make a final agreement without checking with anyone else. If someone else has the final word then that person must attend too.
Lawyers are not allowed to attend but you can bring a support person. That person is not an advocate, just someone there to support you.
The Costs Involved
There is a $50 application fee which must be paid to the PGIO before the PGIO appoints an Ombudsmanís Representative. That fee can be waived by the PGIO in very exceptional cases.
The PGIO pays for the Ombudsmanís Representativeís time.
You need to pay your own costs to attend the meeting.