Our Brief History
The network of volunteers (that became Peters Care) was founded in 2006 by Simon McCann. Farmers had become more debt-laden, problems were emerging with farmers’ cash flows, and farmers were not sufficiently able to deal with banks and the farm debt. By 2008 the global financial crisis had struck. As the global financial crisis struck, so did the level of calls from farmers indicating severe financial circumstances. The level of calls from farmers seeking help elevated from around 1-5 per month, to around 2-5 per week by 2013. Around 2013 we expanded our volunteer network to lawyers in rural areas with banking experience.

It was around 2012 that the name Peters Care was formed to bring the volunteer group together under a name.

In early 2014 the ABC featured a program on Simon McCann and Peters Care, which raised the profile of the small volunteer network. However, the ABC feature was Australia-wide, which opened the floodgates across Australia with farmers seeking help.

Peters Care has always been funded by its founder, running on mobile phones and impromptu office space, often struggling. In 2014 a Sydney based foundation came to the aid of Peters Care, with a remit to assist with financial support in operational costs such as premises, telephony, staff and also to provide funding to make application to become a registered charity. This financial assistance was a gift from heaven; but it was withdrawn after 3-4 months. Peters Care was then left with new unbudgeted costs and no funding, and reverted back to a small unfunded volunteer group.

Despite the relevance of Peters Care, it does not receive any government or financial assistance.

Banks and institutions have offered to provide financial support, however, this would represent a conflict of interest and impact our ability to mediate with banks.

Our aim in 2017 is to obtained registered charity status.

What We Do

We assist farmers and their families under financial distress, providing services to mediate or negotiate on the farmers’ behalf with banks and their lawyers. Outcomes are often more time to properly deal with the debt, creation of realistic financial plan, a restructure of the debt, arrangement a more relevant debt arrangement, partial or full sale over time, or some other arrangement.

We have found banks to be highly accommodating in many circumstances.

We take the view that financial distress is caused by a combination of unmanageable financial debt obligations, underpinned by mismatched farm cash flows from changed farming activity. This was made worse by the impact of the global financial crisis, where banks were forced to reduce debt exposure to all ‘asset classes’ which included agriculture. This essentially means that banks had to reduce their loan portfolios by a certain percentage, rather than reduce their loans by a more subjective approach i.e. banks themselves were forced to deal with sudden lending changes. It is in many circumstances neither the fault of the farmer or the bank, each is in a critical position.

What We Do Not Do . . . . .

Unfortunately we cannot engage in general refinancing activities for farmers not in distress. We have limited resource which must be devoted to farming families in true distress. Farmers requiring farm debt refinance can be referred to very capable associates that undertake this activity.

Change is Needed

Assisting farmers and banks deal with farm debt matters in crisis is critical, however, developing longer term strategies includes assisting farmers, lenders and governments to understand that farming within Australia has to be sustainable, which requires education of farmers in financial management, and change is required at these three (3) levels. This section will deal with the following topics that Peters Care is or will be involved in.

  1. Creation of a not for profit Australian Agri Bank with the focus on providing financing to farms and rural communities.
  2. Legislative change to deal with how lending institutions provides finance to farmers including greater level of care, extended default mechanisms, extended grace periods, provision for default emergency situations, etc.
  3. Change within lending institutions themselves to deal with how banks and lending institutions provide finance to farmers including greater level of care, extended default mechanisms, extended grace periods, provision for default emergency situations, longer lending terms, etc.
  4. Sustainable Strategies to deal with Government grants, subsidies and related offerings, that would assist farming to become more sustainable within Australia.
  5. Development of financing products offered by Australian Agri Bank (AAB), or Australian banks, which include longer term 20-70 year financing, loans with emergency and ‘on hold’ servicing, and other financial products. We have the experience and background to develop and manage financial products.
  6. Development and monitoring of sustainable food production including those previously advised on such as movement of some food production assets to Northern Australia.
  7. Development of a nationwide Co-Operative that would assist farmers and those in the food production area deal with capital and resource assets more efficiently. Examples include cluster farming, sharing or pooling of capital assets such as equipment.
  8. Creation of an electronic trading bourse/exchange ( AAX ) dealing with assets within rural communities.

Identification and recognition of farming and food production as national assets affecting national security, ensuring the protection and constant assessment of the ownership and management of farming.

We can discuss, inform, develop and manage these, and have the capability and background to introduce these changes now.

Contacts

Email for help and a volunteer will telephone you back from their own mobile or landline.

 

EMERGENCY HELP: help@peterscare.org For emergency and immediate help.

 

 

OFFICE:  office@peterscare.org To contact the office.

Media


Click the ABC logo above to listen to Geraldine Doogue’s ABC Interview with Simon McCann, Founder

 

Resources & Links

This section is being developed.

Sponsors and helping us

Peters Care continues to be completely unfunded. We are not a registered charity, and do not take donations. We are in the process of applying as a registered charity in Australia, at which stage we could accept donations for tax deductible purposes. At this stage any small sums provided by are treated as gifts, used to assist to with our costs. In the financial year 2016 we received $1,800 in gifts.

We are in desperate need of the following items to help us:

• 4WD Diesel Vehicle
• Office space in Sydney and around Albury
• MacBooks
• Mobile telephones
• Domestic flights (moderate requirement)
• Seminar rooms, where we hold seminars and conferences with farmers, banks & government agencies
Current Sponsors

• McCann Family
• Shane Bailey

Governance

 

This section is being developed.