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Case Summary

Is a quad bike farm machinery?

Waller v Yamaha Motor Finance Australia Pty Ltd [2012] FCA 934

Must the financier of a quad bike invite the borrower to participate in a Farm Debt Mediation?

Peter Jackson


Mrs Roslyn Waller appealed to the Federal Court against an order that she should be made bankrupt. She claimed that the financier of her quad bike, Yamaha Motor Finance Australia Pty Ltd, had not invited her to participate in a mediation under the Farm Debt Mediation Act and because of this they were not entitled to sue her to recover monies and therefore she should not be declared bankrupt.

Yamaha had financed the purchase of a quad bike for Mrs Waller. Mrs Waller claimed that a quad bike could be used for many of the purposes for which a tractor could be used, and therefore it was farm machinery and she was entitled to the protection afforded by the Farm Debt Mediation Act.

His Honour accepted Mrs Waller’s argument that a quad bike could be used for many of the activities that a tractor might be used for. However, he sought to understand the meaning of the expression “quad-bike” and, for that purpose, went to the Oxford English dictionary. A tractor was consistently defined as having large rear wheels.

His Honour concluded that it was too much to ask that a Court conclude that a quad bike was a tractor and he refused to do so.

Mrs Waller’s appeal was dismissed and her bankruptcy was confirmed.


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Principal Lawyer - Dispute Resolution and Insolvency