Gina Rinehart — mining tycoon and Australia’s richest person — is now also the world’s richest woman. Last year, her wealth grew by $18.87 billion to $29.17 billion. Her wealth grew $52 million a day or $1 million every 30 minutes.
It means that for every second that passed in 2011, Rinehart made more ($598) than a minimum wage earner made in a week ($589.30).
Rinehart’s fortune is now so big, if she spent $1 million a year her money would last for 29,170 years. It would take a minimum wage earner about 950,000 years to reach Rinehart’s bank balance
Rinehart’s personal wealth is more than two times greater than the gross domestic product (GDP) of Cambodia, population 14.5 million. She has about 41 times more than the GDP of East Timor, population 1.3 million. She has more than the GDPs of Haiti and Bolivia put together (combined population 20 million).
She could buy up the economies of the world’s 10 poorest nations, and still have about $22 billion left over.
One in seven people — or 1 billion people around the world — do not have enough to eat. Rinehart could feed them all for a year.
Last year alone, Rinehart made $1.5 billion more than was spent on the entire NSW health system ($17.3 billion). She made 18 times more than was allocated to the federal government’s climate change department. She made 70 times what the federal government will spend to improve education and training for young Aboriginal Australians.
BRW Magazine said on May 24 that Rinehart’s rise in wealth “is unparalleled”. It said Rinehart might soon become the world’s richest person: “A $100 billion fortune is not out of the question for Rinehart if the resources boom continues unabated.”
Despite her huge fortune, Rinehart is convinced she pays too much tax. Her tax lobby group ANDEV (Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision) campaigns to cut taxes on mining industry profits and lower payroll and income tax.