The Queensland branch of the Presbyterian Church of Australia has been placed in receivership. The financial difficulties of the church has been caused by problems with its aged care opereator Prescare.
In a widely reported statement, the Presbyeterian’s Queensland moderator (leader) Philip Strong, said “While our team has worked hard for more than a year to restructure the operations, historical contractual arrangements have made this extremely challenging,” he said.
“I know that today’s announcement will be unexpected for our congregations, employees, residents, students and the community. Our priority has always been and will continue to be their wellbeing.”
More detail on the difficulties leading to the announcement. and the “historical contractual arrangements” is given in a story in the Financial Review. The receivership occurred “after the sale of three properties fell short, leaving it unable to pay debts owed to a creditor.
“PCQ was unable to meet the terms of a contract with its partner, real estate investment trust Catalyst Health, triggering the insolvency. Catalyst and PresCare had entered into several sale and lease back deals in recent years.”
Catalyst is owned by Sunsuper which the Financial Review says invests in aged care projects.
Residents’ “refundable accommodation deposits” (RAD) will attract a government guarantee, regardless of what happens to Prescare or Catalyst.
The assets of the Presbyterian Church in Queensland besides prescare includes the Queensland Theological College, a school in Toowoomba and its local churches.