The story is a 3 hour drama Mini-Series.
Concept Ewan Burnett
In 1983, the banking system in Australia was deregulated. It was hailed as a great step forward for industry and the public. Increased competition, better "products", greater benefits. In the scramble to increase their lendings and profits, the banks pushed many new loan schemes on a population who were inherently conservative in their borrowing habits. The most "entrepreneurial" of these schemes were Foreign Currency Loans. And the most conservative of the population were farmers. They became a prime target. Bank managers, who had long been respected members of rural communities, were required by their banks to "sell" these loans.
Within a very short span of time, interest rates had increased by 10 percent, the dollar had devalued by 50 percent and Foreign Currency Loans were an unmitigated disaster. In addition, the bottom had fallen out of wool and wheat prices and the weather had turned against the farmer with seven straight years of drought. Even when the interest rates started to fall, the banks held them high. In the space of five years, 12,000 farmers had were forced to "walk off" properties that had often been in the family for generations. The whole structure and fabric of rural communities changed forever.
When it was Liz and Tom Cooper's time to take over "Bundarra Downs", it was almost like the farm itself had been crying out for someone to push it ahead with new equipment, improved facilities and better land care. And Phil Reynolds at the bank agreed. Tom and Liz were an energetic, intelligent team and their farm was set to take off. But the tide quickly turned against them. It's remarkable what a bank can get away with. Their loan, their advice, but not their responsibility. Like a cancer, the debt slowly takes hold of the farm, Tom and Liz's lives and the whole district.
They are bewildered. But Liz is also angry. It falls to her to take up the fight. Rabble rousing in the country is like trying to sell life insurance to a dead man. But when Tom comes around, they become strong and they find they are joined by a whole community. A community crippled by isolation and debt. A community that has never found a voice before. The Coopers may not have a hope in hell, but it doesn't matter. Finally, faced with walking off, someone is taking a stand.