To date, Gina Rinehart has a net worth of $28 billion thanks to her mining business (where she is the Executive Chairman of 3 Hancock Prospecting), making her the wealthiest person in Australia and the fifth richest woman in the world. Her self-published book roused worldwide concern regarding her appeal for Australian workers to accept a daily wage of $2 similar to African workers.
Amid the ongoing legal battle with her three children which has been hitting the headlines, she is persuading the authorities to turn the northern region of Australia into a special economic zone, specifically transforming it into a food bowl for the country’s neighbors. She is also into philanthropy but prefers to keep a low profile on her charity works, which include going to Cambodia and visiting the girl’s orphanages there. In addition, she is a staunch advocate against human trafficking. Due to her involvement in several political activities, advocacies and philanthropy work, Rinehart is considered as an influential individual.
Early Beginnings and Personal Life
Born on the 9th of February, 1954 in Perth, Western Australian, Georgina Hope Rinehart is the only child of Lang Hancock and Hope Margaret Nicholas. She took up economics at Sydney University but after a short time, she dropped out and started working for her father at Hancock Prospecting Pty Limited. From then on, Rinehart was able to learn the ropes of the Pilbara iron-ore industry.
At age 19, she married her first husband Greg Milton, an Englishman, and had two children together, namely John Langley and Bianca Hope. Her husband changed his family name to Hayward. The couple got divorced in 1981. She married Frank Rinehart who was a German American corporate lawyer in 1983, and also had two children, who are named Hope and Gina. She became a widow when Frank died in 1990.
Taking Over the Business and Expanding it
When Lang Hancock passed away 1992, Gina Rinehart took over and became Executive Chairman. She set her eyes on the expansion of the company’s undeveloped deposits by associating with joint venture partnerships and turning the leases into income producing mines in order to increase capital. In the early 21st century Australia benefited much from the expansive growth of the mining industry, thus enabling her business to earn quite a lot.
She was able to get a profit share of 50% generated by the Hope Downs mine, with an annual production of 30 million tons of iron ore. Her other joint venture which is with Mineral Resources Limited produces 500 million tons of ferruginous manganese. Other joint ventures like the Alpha Coal, Kevin’s Corner’s and the Roy Hill projects are due for production in 2013. Later on, Rinehart was able to branch out her investments and she became the largest shareholder in Fairfax Media. She raised her stakes by 18.67% and took a significant share in the Ten Network Holdings.
Rinehart’s Hancock Range proposal was granted approval in 1999 in honor of the family’s contribution in the Pilbara region through the establishment of the mining and pastoral industry in the area. The mountain range is located about 65 km northwest of the town of Newman.
Enduring Family Feud
Rinehart is one fortunate woman to be known as a mining magnate, but she is not spared from facing disputes among her family members. In 1992, she had a bitter legal battle, which took 14 years to settle, with her stepmother, Rose Porteous, regarding the status of her father’s death and the distribution of his estate.
Family feud is nothing new to Rinehart after she had a fall out with her son, John Langley Hayward, in 2003. This prompted Hayward to have his family name changed by deed poll to Hancock. Their differences grew deeper when Rinehart was nominated as trustee when her father established the Hope Margaret Hancock Trust before his death and where his four grandchildren were named beneficiaries of the Trust. Hope Rinehart Welker, John Hancock and Bianca Rinehart, who are three of her children and beneficiaries of their grandfather’s Trust took legal action in 2011 over their mother’s supposed postponement of the vesting date of the Trust. It was Welker who brought the case over the dispute in the New South Wales Supreme Court to have Rinehart removed as sole trustee. The judge, Justice Paul Brereton who was handling the case granted an interim non-publication order, and stated that it was not the first time that a family with massive wealth is faced with conflicts. Affairs of the family involving such conflicts always draw media attention and garner too much publicity, even in the past.
Getting Involved with Political Activities and Advocacies
The Federal Government received much resistance from Rinehart, along with Andrew Forrest and others, over the proposed Mineral Resource Rent Tax and the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. In 2010, along with her concerned friends, she was actively campaigning for the development of Northern Australia and founded Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision (ANDEV). She pointed out that she and her late dad wanted to provide good facilities through investment, business and development projects for the benefit of the people living in the north.
The Federal Government, she pointed out, needs to put a stop on the country’s increasing debts. Rather, the Federal Government should do more to help the Australian economy by welcoming and accepting investments in the country, and build up its cost competitiveness. Rinehart encourages to make the North a special economic zone with less regulations and reduced taxes.
In her new book “Northern Australia and Then Some: Changes We Need to Make to Make Our Country Rich,” she further discussed her sentiments, beliefs and ideas to create better policies to help small businesses which are the backbone of Australia’s economy and vital building blocks for the future of the country. Clearly, she wanted the Federal Government to come up with different avenues to support small businesses to become big players to create opportunities which the country needs.
It just shows that Gina Rinehart doesn’t easily get discouraged to fight for what she believes in, for the betterment of the Australian nation.
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