Gina Rinehart

Gina Rinehart

Credentials

  • After studying one year of economics, Rinehart dropped out of Sydney University because, as she told BRW in 1982, “they were teaching all the wrong things.” [1]

Background

Georgina “Gina” Hope Rinehart, Australia's richest citizen according to Forbes with a personal fortune of $21.5 billion, is the Chairman of Hancock Prospecting and daughter of iron magnate Lang Hancock. 

Rinehart owns stake in Hope Downs, a joint venture with Rio Tinto, and the Roy Hill project, an iron ore mine in Western Australia. Rinehart was named the world's richest woman in 2012. [2], [3]

Rinehart became Executive Chairman of  the Hancock Prospecting Group (HPPL) in 1992 after the death of her father, Lang Hancock. She significantly added to the company's holdings in Australia. A 2011 profile of Rinehart in The Sydney Morning Herald notes that some of Rinehart's “hobby horses include the abolition of the mining resource rent tax, the introduction of cheap Asian labour to develop Australian mines in the form of 'guest workers', and challenging the science of climate change.” [4], [1]

Rinehart's media assets have included stakes in Ten, where she joined the board in 2010, and Fairfax Media. Rinehart reportedly quit the Channel Ten board in 2014, saying she was too busy, however she retained her 10% share in the company. [5], [6], [7]

In 2012, Rinehart purchased $192 million in shares in Fairfax Media Ltd. giving her a 9.9% stake. Fairfax owns print and online newspapers such as the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the Brisbane Times as well as other regional newspapers and city radio stations. She later threatened to sell her stake unless “unless director positions are offered without unsuitable conditions.” Rinehart had sought three seats on the eight-member board as well as a role as deputy chairman, which the paper argued violated its charter of editorial independence. Rinehart later sold her stake, eventually totaling $306 million, in 2015. [8], [9], [10]

Channel Ten formerly ran “The Bolt Report,” the broadcast of conservative commentator and climate change denier Andrew Bolt, until the program transferred to Sky News in 2016. [11], [12] Rinhart has been a supporter of the climate science denier, Lord Christopher Monckton.

Institute for Public Affairs (IPA)

Gina Rinehart is a key donor to the Institute for Public Affairs (IPA), an Australian think tank that has fought against a carbon tax and pushed climate science denial. DeSmog reported in 2018 that Hancock Prospecting Proprietary Ltd (HPPL) had donated $2.3 million to the IPA in 2016 and $2.2 million in 2017, according to disclosures made to the New South Wales Supreme Court. [38]

In 2012, news sources speculated that Gina Rinehart may be a large funder behind the group. The IPA has accepted at least $2 million in annual funding from corporations with a direct stake in the climate change debate, The Sydney Morning Herald reported in 2010. [13], [14]

The IPA is a member of Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision (ANDEV), a lobby group Gina Rinehart founded to fight against taxes in Northern Australia. ANDEV proposed the development of a “Special Economic Zone (SEZ)” with reduced taxes and regulation. [15], [16]

ABC News noted the parallels between the IPA campaign and Rinehart's. In August 2010, the IPA released an article entitled “Unleash the North” promoting the idea of the “free trade zone” that mirrored the ideas promoted by Rinehart. The Institute established its own website to promote the “North Australia Project.” IPA also admitted that it was “working with Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision.” ANDEV and the IPA joined together for a “Northern Australia Project” to promote ANDEV's agenda. [13], [17]

At the end of an article for mining magazine where she claims that detailed some of her skeptical views of global warming, Rinehart also asked anyone who shared her “vision” for an Australia without a price on carbon to contact John Roskam, the executive director of the IPA. [18]

Stance on Climate Change

June 2012

In a response to a question on climate change from Four Corners, a company spokesperson wrote: [19], [20]

“To lessen the fear the media have caused over these issues, Mrs Rinehart suggests that the media should also permit to be published that climate change has been occurring naturally since the earth began, not just the views of the climate extremists. It is a fact that there have been ice ages, then periods of global warming to end the ice ages, for thousands of years, and these have occurred naturally, including due to the earth’s orbit, and not due to mankind at all.
“Mrs Rinehart points out that some people received notoriety claiming only a few decades ago that the earth was about to enter an ice age and understands some of those same people are now claiming, global warming instead. Mrs Rinehart admires people like Ian Plimer who have independently chosen on their own accord to stand up against this tidal wave, which has caused fear, and despite substantial attacks by some of the media and extremists for so doing. It is noted Professor Plimer had his own views on climate change long before he knew Mrs Rinehart and had given many such informative speaking tours prior to meeting Mrs Rinehart.”

May 2011

In a piece originally published at Australian Resource and Investment, where Rinehart detailed why she opposed a carbon tax, she declared: [18]

“I have never met a geologist or leading scientist who believes adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will have any significant effect on climate change, especially not from a relatively small country like Australia.”

She also outlined some of her views on climate change:

“Let’s consider climate change – the world has constantly changed climate and will continue to do so. Even before human civilisation, the world went through ice ages and periods of global warming.

“There will always be changes that affect our climate, even if we close down all thermal-fired power stations, steel mills and other manufacturing operations, putting employees out of work and drastically changing our way of life. Furthermore, there will always be geothermal activity that spew out heat and ash and this activity does affect the climate.

“I am yet to hear scientific evidence to satisfy me that if the very, very small amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (approximately 0.38 per cent) was increased, it could lead to significant global warming.

“I have never met a geologist or leading scientist who believes adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will have any significant effect on climate change, especially not from a relatively small country like Australia. I have, however, had the benefit of listening to leading scientists and reading their work.”

Key Quotes

November 19, 2015

While accepting an economic achievement award, Rinehart used her time on stage to discuss her vision for “special economic zones” in Australia: [33]

“Northern Australia, indeed all of Australia, would benefit with such [special economic] zones where government burdens are reduced,” Rinehart said.

September 2012

Writing for an Australian Resources & Investment publication, Rinehart said: [21]

“The millionaires and billionaires who chose to invest in Australia are actually those who most help the poor and our young. This secret needs to be spread widely.

“So let’s drop the class warfare and recognise that high tax socialist policies don’t create jobs. Business and investment does, and we need a lot more businesses and investment and reinvestment to do a lot more of that creating.”

August 2012

Writing in her regular column at Australian Resources and Investment magazine, Rinehart said: [35]

“There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire. If you're jealous of those with more money, don't just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself - spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working.”

She also suggested that the government should lower minimum wage and cut taxes to stimulate employment.

Key Deeds

July 17, 2018

DeSmog's Graham Readfearn reported that recent disclosures made to the New South Wales Supreme Court confirmed that Rinehart was a key donor to the Institute for Public Affairs (IPA). Her company, Hancock Prospecting Proprietary Ltd (HPPL) had donated $2.3 million to the IPA in 2016 and $2.2 million in 2017, according to the disclosures. [38]

The documents were revealed as part of a long legal dispute over HPPL's use of company funds, brought on by Gina Rinehart’s daughter Bianca.  [38]

The court judgement reported Bianca’s solicitors had been provided with a schedule of “donations and sponsorships” from HPPL where it was disclosed “that HPPL paid or provided amounts to IPA in a total of $2.3 million for the 2016 financial year and $2.2 million in the 2017 financial year.”  [38]

DesMog noted that the documents also brought into question the IPA's reporting of revenues. For example, according to the IPA's 2017 annual report, it had received “86 percent” of its total revenue of $6.1 million from individuals. However, the $2.2 million donation from HPPL that year would have been more than one-third of the IPA's income. In 2016, the IPA reported 91 precent from individuals, however HPPL's donation of $.23 million that year would constitute nearly half the IPA's $4.96 million reported income.  [38]

When DeSmog asked HPPL about the donations, whether they were supporting specific work and if it was still a supporter, IPA spokesperson Evan Mulholland replied: “No comment.”  [38]

December 2016

The Australian reported that Rinehart and “very close friend” Cory Bernardi met with members of then-president-elect Donald Trump's campaign team including former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. There was speculation of Bernardi splitting from the Liberal Party and heading a new Australian Conservatives party, with speculation that funding could come from Rinehart. [22]

Bernardi would go on to resign from the Liberals on February 7, 2017, and lead the Australian Conservatives as a political party. [23]

Bernardi himself is an active climate change denier, calling carbon pricing “a form of socialism,” and using his Conservative Leadership Foundation (CLF) to fight against carbon taxes. Bernardi has spoken twice at the Heartland Institute's International Conferences on Climate change, with his travel expenses covered by Heartland. [24] 

2012

Rinehart purchased a stake in Fairfax Media that gave her a 9.9% stake in the company. Fairfax owns print and online newspapers such as the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the Brisbane Times as well as other regional newspapers and city radio stations. She later threatened to sell her stake “unless director positions are offered without unsuitable conditions.” Rinehart had sought three seats on the eight-member board as well as a roles as deputy chairman, which the paper argued violated its charter of editorial independence. Rinehart later did sell her stake in 2015 which by then totaled $306 million. [25], [9], [26]

2011

In July 2011, notorious climate change denier Lord Christopher Monckton spoke at a boardroom seminar hosted by the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation. During the meeting, he pitched the idea of an “Australian version of Fox News” and sought backers for the venture, referring to “those who we know we are super rich.” View video below. [27]

As noted by Graham Readfearn, just a few months after the meeting Gina Rinehart secured a position on the board of Channel Ten. Shortly before the meeting, Andrew Bolt had been given his own show on the channel in which he would promote his own climate skeptic views. [9]

July 2010

Gina Rinehart hosted a lunch at her Perth home for a group of dignitaries including then Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett and the Chinese Ambassador to Australia, Chen Yuming .  As reported in Crikey, Rinehart invited climate science denier and geologist Ian Plimer to the dinner to give a talk about global warming.

February 2010

As part of Christopher Monckton's first tour to Australia, he provided an invitation-only “Lang Hancock Lecture” at Notre Dame University. The cost of hosting Monckton was covered by an endowment from Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting. Professor Chris Doepel, the dean of the university's business school, said that the donation had been made several years ago and had sat dormant until that time. [28]

Doepel said that the choice of speaker for events is “a matter of discussions with the donor” and that “Under the terms of the endowment the requirement for the speaker is someone who speaks on promotion of free enterprise.” [28]

A member of Rinehart's staff was also made available to cover the Perth portion of Monckton's tour, according to an event invitation. Rinehart also reportedly provided a donation to help cover the $100,000 needed for Monckton's stipend, accommodation, and travel [29], [30]

The Guardian reported that Australian Academics had circulated a letter calling for the university to cancel Monckton's lecture, with signatories saying that Monckton “stands for the kind of ignorance and superstition that universities have a duty to counter.” [31]

“Lord Monckton propounds widely discredited fictions about climate change and misrepresents the research of countless scientists,” said the letter. “With zero peer-reviewed publications, he has declared that the scientific enterprise is invalid and that climate science is fraudulent … Over the last month there has been a great deal of coverage in the Australian media of the death threats and abusive emails that have targeted Australian scientists working on climate change. These threats are fuelled by misinformation spread by figures like Lord Monckton and the distorted coverage that they receive in the Australian media. As academics, we expect our universities to support us against this kind of abuse. We expect our universities to foster academic standards of conduct and argument.” [31]

January 2010

Noosa News on Australia's Sunshine Coast runs an interview with two retirees who had organised an upcoming tour of Australia for climate science denier Lord Christopher Monckton.  In the interview, the pair revealed that Gina Rinehart had offered a cash donation to held fund the tour. A Hancock Prospecting staff member was a contact for the Perth leg of Monckton's tour.

Affiliations

Social Media

Publications

Rinehart has published some opinion pieces, including one at ANDEV on the importance of coal. In 2013, she published a book focusing on “special economic zones” for Northern Australia. [36], [37]

Rinehart also writes a regular column in the Australian Resources and Investment magazine. For example:

The Telegraph reported that Rinehart also wrote what some critics of described as “the universe's worst poem.” The poem, titled “Our Future,” is engraved on a plaque on a iron ore boulder on her home estate. In the poem, Rinehart is critical of government and emphasizes that “Our nation needs special economic zones and wiser government, before it is too late.” [32]

Resources

  1. Rinehart's road to riches no easy ride,” The Sydney Morning Herald, February 5, 2011. Archived December 19, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/uYJZF

  2. Gina Rinehart,” Forbes, December 14, 2017. Archived December 14, 2017 Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/FM3om

  3. Gina Rinehart named world's richest woman,” ABC News, May 23, 2012. Archived December 14, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/DQdaB

  4. Board and Senior Management,” Hancock Prospecting PTY LTD. Archived December 19, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/FiDL4

  5. A brief history of Rinehart’s loss-making stake in Ten,” Crikey, February 10, 2015. Archived December 19, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/toQSa

  6. GINA RINEHART TO JOIN TEN HOLDINGS BOARD” (PDF), tennetworkholdings, November 26, 2010.

  7. Amanda Meade. “Gina Rinehart quits Channel Ten board, says too busy with mining company,” The Guardian, November 3, 2014. Archived December 19, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/yY8LI

  8. Rinehart boosts stake in Fairfax,” ABC News, February 1, 2012. Archived December 20, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/HjLvn

  9. Graham Readfearn. “Monckton Pitches 'Fox News Australia' Idea To Mining Magnate, Seeks 'Super-Rich' Backers,” DeSmog, January 31, 2012.

  10. Sarah Thompson, Anthony MacDonald, and Jake Mitchell. “Gina Rinehart sells out of Fairfax Media,” The Sydney Morning Herald, February 6, 2015. Archived December 20, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/6JjHO

  11. Andrew Bolt's Channel Ten show The Bolt Report reportedly cancelled by network,” The Sydney Morning Herald, January 18, 2016. Archived December 19, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/8rC9i

  12. The Bolt Report to be resurrected on Sky News five nights a week,” The Guardian, March 21, 2016. Archived December 19, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/yOTuZ

  13. The shadowy world of IPA finances,” ABC News, February 23, 2012. Archived December 20, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/GmKrP

  14. The benefit of the doubt,” The Sydney Morning Herald, May 8, 2010. Archived December 20, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/l25SC

  15. Our North,” Institute of Public Affairs. Archived November 14, 2011. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/dLGg7

  16. Rinehart group calls for northern tax-free zone in push for regional development,” ABC News, May 28, 2014. Archived December 20, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/YyXYH

  17. “Unleash the North” (PDF), Institute of Public Affairs, August 2010.

  18. Gina Rinehart urges Australians to fight against carbon and mining taxes,” Australian Mining, May 5, 2011. Archived December 20, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/uVeNi

  19. QUESTIONS FOR GINA RINEHART ANSWERS ON BEHALF OF HANCOCK PROSPECTING PTY LTD” (PDF), ABC.net.au.

  20. Gina Rinehart - The Power of One - Four Corners,” YouTube video uploaded by user “liberalcynic,” june 25, 2012. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  21. LET’S GET BACK TO OUR ROOTS – Article by Gina Rinehart for the Australian Resources & Investment publication,” Sydney Mining Club, September 3, 2012. Archived December 23, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/jsnK0

  22. Christensen ‘loyal’ to Coalition as Bernardi on brink of Libs split,” The Australian, December 22, 2016. Archive.is URL: http://archive.is/gLBAU

  23. Chris Uhlmann and Jane Norman. “Cory Bernardi to split with Coalition to form Australian Conservatives party,” ABC News, February 6, 2017. Archived December 22, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/rUoa5

  24. Graham Readfearn. “How Cory Bernardi was inspired to push climate denial from US conservative groups,” The Guardian, February 7, 2016. Archived December 23, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/vtz49

  25. Rinehart boosts stake in Fairfax,” ABC News, February 1, 2012. Archived December 20, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/HjLvn

  26. Sarah Thompson, Anthony MacDonald, and Jake Mitchell. “Gina Rinehart sells out of Fairfax Media,” The Sydney Morning Herald, February 6, 2015. Archived December 20, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/6JjHO

  27. Lord Christopher Monckton speaks at Mannkal Boardroom Seminar,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Mannkal,” February 7, 2012. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  28. Graham Readfearn. “The environmental Nazi hunter,” ABC News, June 22, 2011. Archived December 20, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OZlGu

  29. AN INVITATION TO HEAR THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DEBATE FROM THE SCIENTISTS & SCHOLARS” (PDF). Retrieved from Joanne Nova's website.

  30. Owen Jacques. “Billionaire backs Monckton tour,Noosa News, January 26, 2010. Archived December 23, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/nHYFd

  31. Leo Hickman. “Cancel Lord Monckton's university lecture, say academics,” The Guardian, June 27, 2011. Archived December 20, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/8aHhR

  32. Gina Rinehart pens 'universe's worst poem',” The Telegraph, February 16, 2012. Archived January 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Y49Vw

  33. IMARC Gina Rinehart Speech,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Hancock Prospecting Group,” November 19, 2015.

  34. Biography,GinaRinehart. Archived January 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Gg8H5

  35. Gina Rinehart tells whingers: Get out of the pub,” The Courier Mail, August 30, 2012. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/wZTWn

  36. Opinion – Australia’s lessons from history – by Mrs Gina Rinehart,” ANDEVJuly 13, 2011. Archived January 6, 2018. Archive.is URL:https://archive.is/CgJV2

  37. Book Launch Media Pack,” ANDEVAprl 11, 2013. Archived January 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/NweQK

  38. Graham Readfearn. “Billionaire Mining Magnate Gina Rinehart Revealed As Key Donor to Australian Climate Science Denial Promoter Institute of Public Affairs,” DeSmog, July 17, 2018.

Other Resources

Profile image from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website – www.dfat.gov.au [CC BY 3.0 au], via Wikimedia Commons.