Gina Rinehart ranks as the richest Australian ever, owns vast swathes of the continent, directly and indirectly employs tens of thousands of her fellow countrymen, has homes around the globe, travels in an $80 million private jet, is instantly recognisable across the land, has been the subject of a television mini-series and several bestsellers as well as having the ear of the Prime Minister.
Just don’t ever call her an “heiress”. I innocently made this incursion recently, only to be swiftly dealt with by Rinehart’s team of “communications specialists”, one of whom wrote to inform me she was hardly of the ilk of Paris Hilton.
Rinehart was disputing the term “heiress”: “When Lang Hancock passed away his estate was bankrupt, which is publicly available information. “In addition, Hancock Prospecting which he’d largely sold out of was in an extremely bad financial situation at time of his death in March 1992 with the few remaining assets under threat of litigation or heavily mortgaged. Tenements to Roy Hill were not in the company when Lang was alive – these were acquired after his death.” Continue Reading →