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Address by Mrs Gina Rinehart to the International Women’s Federation of Commerce and Industry’s Global Women’s Trade Summit

by 7 November 2016

26 October 2016
Mrs. Gina Rinehart

“The little recognised requirements of growth centres, can Australia become a growth centre of the world?”

Good morning distinguished guests and all delegates,

Greetings from the Roy Hill berths at Port Hedland. As you can see we have 2 ships in harbour, one almost loaded which will go out tonight and the other which we’re about to start loading which you can see is high in the water.

May I welcome delegates who have travelled from near and far to be here today.

I am delighted to be asked to present the opening address and wish Diana and team and all delegates an interesting and enjoyable summit.

Thank you very much for awarding me with the inaugural Federation Star Award which recognises leading role models for women. I am deeply honoured and very delighted to be the inaugural recipient.

May I start by reflecting on some of the history and the then culture of Victoria, which enabled the living standards we enjoy here today, and which billions of people in this world, deprived of such culture and growth, are not as fortunate to enjoy.

My favourite Victorian books, The Billabong Series, were written by, Mary Grant Bruce, capture the history here and the then culture very well. The story is set in Victoria, with some glimpses elsewhere given the war history, but primarily in the Victorian rural areas, and the series takes us from pre world wars, through to the end of World War 1 and into World War 2.

These books featured Norah and her family as the main characters.

Norah was fortunate to have a very good father, a man of integrity, a patriotic Australian, one who led by example, hard work, sacrifice, gave a helping hand to his mates in need, or others going through very hard times, was responsible, strong and able to cope with the many challenges that life on a then remote cattle property threw up. One who didn’t look after his family based on handouts, and had no sense of entitlement. Who didn’t expect the government to control his life. Rather, very much do for yourself, or, do without.

This and the at times toughness of outback life helped Norah and her brother Jim develop a set of values and the culture that initially built Victoria – the value of hard work, independence, decency, perseverance, love of country and resilience. A culture that respected hard work, and people achieving from that, be it from scratch, or from building upon what their parents may have started, providing jobs for others.

Yes, this was a book series, but it also well portrayed the then Victorian, indeed, Australian way of life and what grew our country and enabled the living standards we enjoy today. A culture still of relevance and importance, should Australia truly wish to become a growth centre.

These values and culture are vital as we as a nation currently face many difficulties, albeit mainly selfimposed: including but not only, record and growing debt, where we can’t even pay the interest without borrowing more to do so, increasing regulation, approvals, permits, licences and compliance, and what should be unsurprising, declining investment, now the lowest it’s been since the low investment that marked the socialist government during the Whitlam years.

Our Asian neighbours can’t understand us, despite our large land mass, abundance of natural resources, educated population, friendly neighbours and relative political stability, we are not a growth centre like other countries such as Singapore, who are without the benefits of our natural resources and land.

To become a growth centre of the world, we need to realign our attitude to what it takes to encourage investment into our country, and better understand that this would bring the associated benefits of sustainable employment, rising living standards and greater international recognition. We can’t do this without attracting investment.

Of course, an essential pillar to attracting investment and becoming an international growth centre is to significantly reduce the amount of red tape and government burdens, permits, approvals, licences and compliance.

The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), one of Australia’s think tanks, wrote recently of a Melbourne café wanting to invest more, and employ more people, Crate Speciality Coffee café.

They applied to local government to increase the café’s seating and trading hours, in response to customer requests.

This application would have created more jobs, but was knocked back by local government due to just one single anonymous objection. Let me give you another red tape example in central Victoria.

Earlier this year, and astounding to many, a wild orchid stopped the building of a gold mine in the small town of Talbot.

And how close was the culprit plant growing to the proposed goldmine? 7 kilometres away – nowhere near the proposed mine!

Not only was there a 7km buffer zone, but to be permitted to get this investment and growth happening, the three miners were asked to pay $900,000 to the state government to remove grass because an orchid may grow there in the future.

Do we need countless government regulations to invest in and build projects such as this, or, do we need to ensure investment and growth like used to happen to enable our country to grow and enable the living standards we enjoy today?

Victoria is not the only place being hampered by government tape – our entire country is. Concerningly, the Consolidated Pastoral Company, a large agricultural business that operates 19 cattle stations across Australia, estimated that it has to comply with more than 300 pieces of government regulation and red tape. For an industry that is so essential to our country’s prosperity and future, should governments be increasing the number of regulatory burdens?

Much earlier in my life, back in the mid-sixties, I can well remember the excitement of achievement that investment in the Pilbara created to build a new railway, port, port town, mine and mine town, all in just 22 months.

An achievement that built more roads in the Pilbara, brought schools and hospitals to the Pilbara, recreation facilities, shops, chemists, hairdressers, yes, very exciting to locals who’d lived decades on stations without such facilities, even police stations and post offices were built and provided by private investment. This could never happen in Australia today in 22 months. Those who suffer unemployment and underemployment issues such as women and young people, need to know that the currently onerous level of government regulations, etc. prevents them from getting jobs or choice of jobs when they graduate school or university, and during their later life.

Businesses will simply not invest and employ if their costs and risks are too high and likely to increase, due to demands from out-of-touch government.

Take Roy Hill for example, our company’s $10 billion mega-mine in the Pilbara. How many approvals, permits and licences do you think we had to complete before construction even commenced?

50? 200? 2000? 3000? Or even 40 as a former Australian Prime Minister guessed?

No, more than 4000 pieces of red tape had to be undertaken even prior to construction. More than 4000! And more for construction.

What small company can pay for all that? Our governments are creating the circumstances where some industries become out of reach of small businesses. Yet small businesses are the backbone of Australia, and the largest single employer. Is it really helping us to become a future growth centre to effectively cut out small businesses in some areas, and instead hope to rely on multinationals?

You may like to know that Roy Hill employs a slightly higher percentage of women than others in the Pilbara and in the West Australian mining industry. I’m very happy to be told by women employees, that our culture is better than other mining companies they’d experienced. And I’m very happy to be told, that despite mining being unpopular and almost a dirty word in parts of Australia, by women working at Roy Hill, that they love to do so, and remain proud of their industry, despite the knockers.

Sometimes the industry is knocked by people who don’t really understand aspects of it, I’ve heard that people in the east think the Pilbara has become a giant quarry that stretches for hundreds of miles. I hope those who may have this impression, fly over the Pilbara for themselves. You can see from the air, what relative pin pricks these scattered non adjoining mines are, they do not form a giant quarry stretching hundreds of miles, but they are important to employment, opportunities for related businesses, paying some of the government debt, that otherwise would likely see even higher taxes, providing facilities in the bush, that people in the outback would otherwise have to go without, revenue that contributes to our defence, police, elderly and health care and more. Indeed, the mining industry helps to maintain the living standards our country currently enjoys.

Some years ago, when Ian Macfarlane was the Federal Resources Minister, a detailed survey was taken measuring the size of land that car parks at hotels take up, and mines take up, they were similar in size, yet we don’t hear an outcry about the car parks at hotels, do we?

Few companies are taking the risks to develop mega projects due to Australia’s high costs and excessive government burdens, and unfortunately for Australia, have moved their investment offshore.

To attempt to illustrate how bad Australia’s red-tape problem is, the IPA estimates that red tape costs the Australian economy approximately $176 billion annually. Who knows all that has been lost, the cost could be astronomically more.

Imagine all of the people who could have been employed for that amount of money, and the revenue lost as a result of government regulations.

The IPA also estimates that under Australian Governments lead by Gillard and Rudd, a staggering 444 bureaucratic government bodies were established in Australia, of which 198 are engaged in imposing regulations on different industries. With over 700,000 Australians unemployed, and Australia in record debt, with a growing elderly population requiring assistance, instead of providing taxable income, and investment at record lows, it must be thought about and asked, how will this make us a growth centre?

India is a current example of how a country can turn an economy around, improve the lives of its people, lifting hundreds of millions from poverty levels, and move towards becoming a major growth centre.

When Prime Minister Modi was elected as Prime Minister in May 2014, he inherited a sluggish economy that was struggling in part because of renowned excessive government tape3. Prime Minister Modi said in 2014, “The country can progress only if we end red-tapism. No red tape, only red carpet, is my policy towards investors.” Since coming to office, Modi has embarked on making civil servants more accountable, changing the public service culture, radically cutting red tape, speeding up the process of incorporating a company, making it easier for companies to get electricity, encouraging India’s states to make doing business easier, holding regular meetings with top bureaucrats to enquire as to why projects haven’t been completed or are delayed, restricting official forms to one page and reining in the authority of federal inspectors.

The majority of mainstream economic measures indicate that the Indian economy is much stronger and is performing better as a result of Modi’s actions to curb government tape. According to figures published in The Wall Street Journal, India grew at 7.6% per cent for the year ended March 2016, resulting in India overtaking China as the world’s fastest-growing big economy, indeed, the fastest growing economy in the world.

The Prime Minister told me, India’s economic growth had doubled after just one year in office. Inflation was almost halved from what it was a year earlier, car sales growth was up, industrial production growth returned into positive territory, India’s budget deficit had been reduced to 3.9% of GDP and foreign direct investment was up over 60% from a year earlier from $24.3 billion to $40 billion. This significant reduction of government tape, is insuring that India is fast achieving raising living standards for its people, and becoming a key global growth centre.

In my view, Prime Minister Modi should be congratulated and emulated.

As then president Ronald Reagan said, “governments first duty is to protect the people, not to run their lives.”

The second key pillar to becoming a growth centre is to ensure low government burdens. High taxes, increasing licence fees, and other government imposts provide disincentives to business as to where to invest.

Low tax rates not only encourage businesses to invest, but it is through this investment that jobs are created and revenues rise.

As Margaret Thatcher used to explain “Let us never forget this fundamental truth: the State has no source of money other than money which people earn themselves. If the State wishes to spend more it can do so only by borrowing your savings or by taxing you more. It is no good thinking that someone else will pay – that ‘someone else’ is you. There is no such thing as public money; there is only taxpayers’ money.”

The more a business pays in tax, and meeting other government burdens, the less money is available for that business to invest and grow employment, or enable it to give salary rises and bonuses.

As Ronald Reagan said “The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.”

To be a global growth hub, a nation must be internationally cost competitive. Critical for cost competitiveness is low government costs, which Australia does not have. High tax rates and increasing licence fees and costs of meeting and complying with government tape, reduce a nation’s international competitiveness, and its potential to be a global growth hub.

It is not enough to talk of jobs and growth and rely on a countries natural advantages to become a global growth centre, nations have to have low government cost burdens, to ensure they can remain internationally cost competitive and to ensure that investment flows into that nation. Without this, a country could never be a global growth centre. Here in Australia we are not only a heavily over-regulated country, but we are an over-taxed and licenced one too.

Out of the OECD countries, Australia has the fourth highest company tax rate (for large businesses), up there with Greece, Portugal and Belgium, who’s economies are all severely struggling.

Australia’s 30% corporate tax rate is well above the world average corporate tax rate of 22.38%, and higher than that of other countries in the Asian region whose average corporate tax rate is 20.86%.6&7 The Tax Foundation found that every region in the world has seen a decline in its average company tax rate over the past 12 years from 30% in 2003 to 22.8% in 2015. Australia’s has remained constant at 30% (for big businesses) across this period.

Take Singapore for example.

Singapore is one of the world’s most successful countries that has been able to transform from an undeveloped nation with low living standards, into an Asian growth centre, with its standard of living so high that it’s income per capita is the fourth highest in the world. All this in only a few decades.

Unlike Australia, Singapore has no natural resources, it even has to import its water, and all its minerals and most of its food, and has inadequate land space, having to create more, making Singapore’s growth centre record even more impressive.

Sound fiscal policy, a policy of no government regulations to delay investment or businesses, low taxes and tax incentives underpinned investor confidence and have been critical to Singapore becoming a growth centre, raising Singaporeans standards of living. We only have to study and take ideas out of the success record of our neighbour’s history under Lee Kuan Yew to become an international growth centre.

Currently, Singapore’s corporate tax rate is 17%, compared with Australia’s 30%.

In addition, Singapore’s top personal income tax rate is 22%, which may also help to explain Singapore’s work culture. Compare this with Australia’s effective top personal income tax rate of 49%, including various levies.

Singapore is the least red-tape burdened country in the world, truly open for investment and business. Former British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, stated “for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

Also, take Israel for example, which I recently visited. The Israeli people are so grateful to have a country and are very proud of their country’s achievements, in its relatively short history, and despite considerable difficulties. Such as, little water, they have become the best or one of the best at desalination and recycling waste water in the world, and of course, the difficulties of lack of security given their neighbours. They are very proud of the hard work, sacrifices and achievements of their people.

When I asked them what they love about their country and what they like to do when not working, I was repeatedly told by the Israelis I met, of the foregoing. I couldn’t help but admire their culture, a culture that has provided significant growth for their country, despite real adversities. More than once I heard that they were the originators of brainstorming. As they said, they learnt to do this thru adversities, indeed their need for defence has driven them to new technologies, such as drones and vehicles without people.

I also couldn’t help compare our culture, do we admire people who work hard, sacrifice and achieve? When asked why we love Australia, do we hear it’s because of the people who work hard and achieve? In summary, Australia, and indeed other countries who want to have the benefits of improved standards of living, should be acting urgently to significantly reduce tax rates and other government burdens, which serve as an impediment to business, investment, and people’s work culture, and to becoming a global growth centre.

Although there is much work and changes needed for Australia to be able to become a real growth centre, it’s not impossible.

India and Singapore and others, have shown us how it can be done. And let’s not forget, the growth and achievement of Israel in a relatively short time, despite its significant adversities.

Thank you very much again for inviting me to speak and for your kind award. I wish you all the best for your summit.

Courtesy of Mrs. Gina Rinehart

Article – Gina Rinehart: Australia’s new queen of the cattle stations

by 7 November 2016

11 October
Sue Neales
The Australian

It is part of Australia’s bush folklore that when the helicopter carrying Chinese magnate Xingfa Ma touched down last year on a muddy Gulf of Carpentaria beach — so Ma could announce he ­wanted to buy surrounding Wollogorang Station for $47 million — the billionaire had never before visited the remote region.

Nor did he know how many cattle were on the 705,000sq km station on the Queensland-Northern Territory border, or even how the premium price proffered by its real estate agents was determined.

And when Ma’s son tentatively asked his father what he was going to do with the rough remote bush country with its 80km frontage to the crocodile-filled Gulf, Ma ­reputedly spoke of its “development potential” and his vision that in a few decades, or centuries, a city the size of Melbourne would cover its shores.

It’s a story that hardened cattlemen love to tell, poking fun at the seeming ignorance of many cashed-up Chinese rushing to buy farms to reap the financial benefits of the Asian food boom.

But there is nothing rash or ill-informed about the $365m joint bid for the bulk of the Kidman cattle and land empire by Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, and Chinese real estate billionaire and AFL sponsor Gui Guojie.

(It is also likely Ma, who had ­already spent $20m buying two Pilbara cattle stations as well as Ferngrove Wines, had done his due diligence, though the steep $47m price tag appears to bear little relation to Wollogorang’s productive capacity.)

While the Hancock-Shanghai CRED deal was only locked in over the past eight days — and the bid agreement signed by their Australian Outback Beef consortium and the Kidman board late on Sunday — it has all the hallmarks of a winning proposal.

After the Turnbull government vetoed two previous majority-­Chinese ownership bids for the Kidman group as not in the ­national interest, a consortium 67 per cent owned by Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting and 33 per cent by Gui’s CRED group is more likely to be politically and publicly palatable.

One Nation senator Pauline Hanson, always opposed to the sale of farmland to foreigners, ­declared she is happy, given “the vast majority of the company ­remains in the hands of Australians”.

“Ms Rinehart has my full support and gratitude,” Senator Hanson said.

“I have faith in her love for the country and its assets, and won’t stand in the way of an Australian buying the country’s largest cattle property.”

Vocal critics of the flood of station sales to the Chinese — including radio presenter Alan Jones, senator Nick Xenophon and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce — also bestowed their ­approval.

Increasing the likelihood that the Hancock bid will win the gol­den tick from the Foreign Investment Review Board and Treasurer Scott Morrison is the exclusion from the deal of the world’s largest cattle station, Anna Creek, and the neighbouring Peake station. It was the inclusion of Anna Creek, 27,300sq km of sprawling low-productive outback country to the west of Lake Eyre, which includes Defence’s high-security Woomera Rocket Range, that led to the blocking of a bid led by the Shanghai Pengxin group for the Kidman properties for reasons including national security.

“The parcel of land that we’re talking about is some 1.3 per cent of Australia’s landmass; the largest single parcel (Anna Creek Station) is next to the Woomera Protected Area,” Morrison said when ­rejecting that Chinese bid in Nov­ember last year.

“We welcome foreign investment but as Treasurer I will always make sure that investment is done in Australia’s national interest.”

Presuming Hancock and Shanghai CRED succeed in buying S. Kidman and Co 18 months after the publicly listed family company was advertised for sale, the agricultural sector is asking if the magic formula for foreign ­investment has now been found.

Is one-third foreign ownership — especially when Chinese companies are involved — with the majority partner controlled by Australians the new acceptable face of businesses wanting to buy agribusinesses?

David Goodfellow, former head of Macquarie’s Bank’s Pastoral Fund and Elders, and now the local managing director of Chinese agribusiness and manufacturing conglomerate the RIFA Group, certainly hopes not.

RIFA has bought, with full FIRB approval, $150m of cattle and sheep properties in western Victoria and northern NSW — ­including the prized $14m Blackwood estate near Dunkeld — with no Australian partner involved. “This (Kidman bid) is obviously a strategy they think will work ­because other bids have failed, but I think it’s a long stretch to say this 33 per cent to 67 per cent (ownership balance) is a preference backed by FIRB,” Goodfellow says.

“I know there is criticism that FIRB rules about foreign investment are not clear enough but I don’t think there should be hard rules around part-ownership ­because it needs to vary according to investors, their experience and appetites.

“I don’t mind 100 per cent foreign ownership; to me (FIRB ­approval) should be more about is there local control, Australian board directors and a robust local management team that can make autonomous decisions and understands Australian farming systems and things like buying locally and supporting local communities.”

The danger of blocking foreign bids for farmland unless an Australian partner has a majority stake is that capital inflows could dry up, says David Williams, managing director of specialist agribusiness corporate advisory firm Kidder Williams.

Agriculture needs capital to ­develop underperforming farms into productive businesses, while intensive spending on large outback cattle stations such as those in the Kidman portfolio could lift their carrying capacity fivefold.

“This is an elegant outcome for the government in this special and sensitive case but it’s also a bit of luck because Gina (Rinehart) has deep pockets and was prepared to pay what the (Pengxin) Chinese bid was also putting up for Kidman, when no other Australian bidder had been able to make that price work,” Williams says.

“But if we always insist on a partnership model, it will bring the price down because Australians are generally not prepared to pay the same price as foreigners for these assets, so the average offer would be lower. That will only hurt Australians trying to sell the farm and get off the land.

“We will miss out on (deals) if the partnership model and minority Chinese ownership becomes the norm; and we need this capital if we are going to sweat the (farm) assets to produce more food.”

Courtesy of The Australian

Article – Past, present and future in Gina Rinehart’s land plan

by 25 October 2016

10 October 2016
Terry McCrann
Herald Sun

AUSTRALIA’S richest woman Gina Rinehart has brought together two of the greatest names in the nation’s history and in its development. She has very neatly unified past, present and future.

In spending around a quarter of a billion dollars to buy control of a slice of Australia, big enough to actually be seen with the naked eye from the moon, she’s also got Treasurer Scott Morrison out of a rather uncomfortable position.

More importantly, Rinehart’s deal provides Morrison with something of a template for handling a critical part of what is going to be our most dominant, most challenging and most complex relationship with any country over the next half-century at least.

If only we had ‘half-a-dozen Rineharts’, able and prepared to do the same thing. Obviously, we don’t: we’ll need to promote ‘synthetic Rineharts’ to do what she’s done, from among the ranks of mainstream institutional investors instead.

On Sunday, Rinehart’s central company Hancock Prospecting announced the $365 million purchase of the S Kidman & Co pastoral group, which has an average carrying capacity of 185,000 cattle over 101,000sq km of leases stretching across three states (Queensland, South and Western Australia) and the Territory. That’s an area equal to about 1½ Tasmanias, or around 40 per cent of Victoria.

Rinehart’s Hancock will own two-thirds of and control the corporate buying vehicle, the other one-third will be owned by a Chinese partner — splitting the cost roughly $243 million/$122 million.

Hancock and Kidman: these are two names that resonate through Australia’s development history.

Kidman encapsulates the sprawling pastoral empires — the ‘sheep’s back’ — on which Australia was built through the second half of the 19th century and running through the first half of the 20th century.

Hancock — her father Lang — personifies like no other the discovery and development of the huge resources projects, initially in WA in the Pilbara but spreading into Queensland, in the second half of the 20th century and which now are the foundation of our contemporary and future prosperity.

Those projects — the Pilbara iron ore mines, the Queensland coal — were built entirely on Japanese demand and Japanese money, but today that has been completely swamped by the extraordinary appetite of its mainland rival China.

In using minerals-generated wealth to buy control of — and keep under Australian control — one of the great pastoral companies, Rinehart has imprinted her unifying vision on the next stage of our economic history. She has blended past and present to build new dynamic foundations for the future.

For the last two decades China has poured tens of billions of dollars into buying our coal and iron ore. We have quite literally been shipping off huge lumps of WA and Queensland to the north.

A much wealthier Middle Kingdom then started to buy our food. That mid-20th century fantasy of persuading the Chinese to put (Australian) sugar in their tea, played out in the 21st century reality of Confucian mothers buying our milk instead, not for tea, but in baby formula form. Most recently, the Chinese have been coming to buy the land on which it’s all produced (and the air above our two major capital cities — apartments — but that’s another story).

Just as China’s purchases of Pilbara ore went from zero to half a billion tonnes a year in the space of less than a generation, we haven’t even begun to understand how big its new appetite for Aussie land that stays put is going to be.

And so, we equally hadn’t even begun to understand the awkward — actually, the extremely serious — questions that would pose. Do we kick back or bend over?

The Rinehart deal shows how we can best handle it. Broadly, not to rebuff it; heck, that would be like King Canute ordering a full-on tsunami not to keep coming up the beach. But equally, not to just let China buy what it wants as we did with coal and iron ore.

But to embrace and control and, even more hopefully, channel it.

Earlier this year Morrison rejected an all-Chinese bid to buy Kidman. The latest deal is a resounding endorsement of that decision. It should also, very importantly, bury any resentment over the rejection. Most importantly, it points to a win-win future.

The latest proposal would keep majority ownership and control in Australian hands. Better to establish that principle upfront. It’d be a lot tougher to lay down that principle if Morrison has given carte blanche to total or even just majority ownership to such a major deal, scooping up so much of our land.

Contrary to extreme open-door free-marketers, these things actually matter. Especially when we have such a lopsided relationship with one country, and a relationship which is just going to get more lopsided as we stumble, inevitably with little sense of strategic direction, through the 21st century.

Rinehart acted in her own perceived best interest. She has also acted in the national interest, both in the deal itself and the policy guidance it provided. She deserves considerable credit.

It’s worth recalling how last year, according to the ATO, this company of hers, Hancock Prospecting, paid $466 million in company tax, at almost spot on the 30 per cent tax rate. A very large number of Australians are riding on her back.

Gina Rinehart’s Hancock will control the corporate buying vehicle.

Courtesy of the Herald Sun

Australian Resources and Investment – Articles by Gina Rinehart

by 12 September 2016

September 2016
Gina Rinehart
Australian Resources and Investment, vol.10 no.3

Roy Hill Wins PMI Australia’s Project of the Year Award

Mrs. Gina Rinehart and Sanjiv Manchanda’s acceptance address for Project of the Year at the 2016 Project Management Institute Australia Awards for Roy Hill’s mega iron ore project.

Roy Hill Pink Truck Launch Celebration

The introduction of the first of Roy Hill’s pink trucks in recognition of breast cancer, breast cancer research and support initiatives.

To read both these articles, click Australian Resources & Investment Vol 10 #3

Courtesy of Australian Resources and Investment

Article – Gina Rinehart dips in to pour funds into rowing

by 2 September 2016

25 August 2016
Simon King
The Australian

Rowing Australia will today announce a renewed partnership with Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, which is being described as “transformational” by its president.

Rinehart — who has already invested in the sport alongside the national swimming, synchronised swimming and volleyball teams — will, through Hancock Prospecting and the Georgina Hope Foundation, become the principal partner of Rowing Australia over the next four years.

“This is a significant and transformational investment for our sport. It’s the biggest, significant financial, commercial partnership we’ve had,” the president of ­Rowing Australia Rob Scott told The Australian.

Scott said the investment would primarily deliver direct ­financial support to all Australia’s elite rowers who attend the sport’s national training centres.

“It will help support their daily living expenses and also bringing us in-line, if not ahead, of the rest of the world in this regard,” said Scott, who is also the managing director of the industrial division at Wesfarmers.

“If you look at our past in rowing, a lot of the elite athletes have had to move state to state, year on year from different training venues and different coaches and that has not led to the best preparation.”

An ongoing problem for Australian rowing — and something Scott and his team have been at pains to address — is the fragmented, federated nature of the sport which sees athletes train with coaches away from any centralised team.

“It has also made it very difficult for them to hold down jobs or continue their studies,” Scott said.

“So providing this certainty with respect to the national training centres, firstly provides a world-class daily training environment but, importantly, it en­ables our athletes to have stability around location and the rest of their lives as well.”

Rinehart’s investment in rowing first came about last year when she funded a three-month Destination Gold camp at the nat­ional training centre in Canberra for all the Olympic qualified crews.

“That was big step forward for our team and through that process we got to know Hancock a lot better and Ms Rinehart got to know our athletes a lot better and she actually took an incredible personal interest in our rowers,” Scott said.

The second element to the new cash will be an investment in state-based pathways and development programs to grow the pipeline of potential elite rowers.

Scott, himself a two-time Olympian with a silver medal in the pair at the 1996 Atlanta Games, said the money meant the sport could get straight back to work after an Olympic Games that yielded Kim Brennan a gold medal in the single sculls and silver in both the men’s four and men’s quadruple sculls.

“In some sports, rowing included, it takes a while for the sport to get their act together post Olympics — we’ve already done the planning and we’re very keen to hit the ground running in the next couple of months to give our athletes the best opportunity,” he said.

Scott said he was happy with the improved Rio Olympic performance after Beijing yielded three silver medals and two bronze.

“With Kim winning our first gold medal for eight years and there being nine rowing medallists coming home, we’re really pleased with that result,” he said.

“We also increased our rating in the Olympic regatta from No 9 to No 4 on the rowing medal tally and that was a pleasing outcome.

“There are a number of our crews who would have liked to have better results on the day, which is understandable.

“It’s a relatively young team and we’re excited about the future opportunities for those athletes.”

That said, with Brennan likely to retire from the sport at an elite level, Scott and the team will need to find gold elsewhere.

“We are confident we can continue to improve our rowers — we want to be successful on the world stage and they want to win — our job in sport is to give them the best opportunity to do that,” he said.

“Whatever Kim decides to do, she will continue to be a huge inspiration for all rowers — and we don’t need to look much further than Kim Brennan for an example of what you need to do to be a gold medallist.

“Kim is not just a sensational athlete, she is also a fantastic individual and her result is the combination of many years of hard work from herself and her coach, Lyall McCarthy.”

That longer-term partnership, based at a national training centre in Canberra is the sort of stability Scott is trying to replicate for all the Olympic crews.

“The stable quality of coaching and daily training environment has certainly helped Kim, but there was not an athlete in the team who trains harder and is more determined than Kim Brennan,” Scott
said.

“Now in the future with an opportunity to have a better-quality training environment and more stability and certainty for athletes, combined with good support structures will certainly lead to better results.”

Gina Rinehart at a beach volleyball match at the Rio Olympic games.

Courtesy of The Australian

Article – They’re not just Olympians. They’re our future leaders.

by 2 September 2016

18 August 2016
Gina Rinehart
The Daily Telegraph

More than 11,000 athletes from more than 200 countries in one vibrant South American city. The Rio Olympics is one I won’t forget. And after years of assisting our wonderful Aussie athletes, nothing was going to stop me from cheering our teams on in Rio.

Gina Rinehart, with Australia’s beach volleyball players in Rio, says our Olympians are outstanding role models. (Pic: Supplied)

The great effort and sacrifices these young athletes make to compete at the world’s top level is truly inspiring. The qualities and characteristics that these athletes possess — the determination, tenacity, perseverance and drive — make them outstanding role models for Australians, and it is these qualities which make it clear why they are great ambassadors for our country and indeed could become future leaders of Australia.

They have got to being among the world’s best through their own hard work and efforts. It is no part of their ethos to think they are entitled to win — they know they should only earn medals and respect from their own hard work and efforts. They are champions competing against the entitlement culture so sadly affecting our country, and its future.

The improvement in culture from the London 2012 Olympics to now is clear and, at the time of writing for instance, swimming contributed 50 per cent of all gold medals to Australia’s Olympic team. And we came from the No.7 nation in swimming with one gold in London to the No.2 nation behind the US.

One only needs to look at how Cameron McEvoy, the favourite for the 100m freestyle, who said of fellow Australian Kyle Chalmers: “I had Kyle in this race and his success and his happiness. I can feel that and right now I’m kind of riding the wave that he’s on.” Team unity is paramount. This reminds me of the time-proven saying “united we stand, divided we fall”. Good on you, team.

The unity and bond between Australia’s Cameron McEvoy and Kyle Chalmers after Chalmers won the men’s 100m freestyle final was truly inspiring. (Pic: AFP/Odd Andersen)

There were also some very heart-touching moments for me. Getting a wave from Kim Brennan (gold medallist in the women’s single sculls) and many of the swimmers and synchronised swimmers either on their way to the competition or after their race, or even at times from the podium. Also to be made an honorary member of the synchronised swimming team, and to see them so happy to be at the Olympics when they greeted me in the stadium, was deeply touching.

Moments like these are magic. And the special moments continued outside the stadiums. I was at a function celebrating the rowing team and the father of a rowing silver medallist handed me a folded napkin with the words “Aussie rowers are ore powered”. Unfolding the napkin, I found he’d written a big ‘THANK YOU’ on the inside. Seeing at first-hand the pride, the happiness and the enthusiasm of the parents of these great Olympians are among the best memories I treasure.

It is more than a great pleasure to support our teams. I have only been able to undertake this through decades of very hard work in Australia’s mining industry. It’s given me great pride to see Australia punch so high above its weight, for instance, seeing our comparatively small country have multiple representatives per race qualify among the best athletes the world produces, in both semi-finals and finals. What an achievement. And then there’s medals!

And it’s wonderful hearing so many people comment how proud our Olympians’ ­efforts make them to be Australian. I’m hearing this from all over Australia, including our Outback.

Gina Rinehart cheers on Australia at a beach volleyball match at the Rio Olympics. (Pic: Supplied)

Despite the challenges of the Olympics this year, our Aussie Olympians have shone brightly.

I hope their inspiration as role models continues long past the Olympics. Although Michael Phelps is not an Aussie, his story as one of the Olympics’ best-ever athletes should not be missed. At school and university, I was told by an American, Michael was not in the popular group that most wanted to be in. He didn’t go to parties, he didn’t live it up. Sure, he made some mistakes but he pushed himself past them. And now, as he steps onto the podium to receive each medal, he has the world’s attention and respect, and enthusiastic applause from the many countries’ representatives present, not just the USA. The emotion on his face says it all. As for those partygoers and liver-uppers, who knows them these days?

And, Australia may have at least one athlete walking in Michael Phelps’ steps.

I sure hope so. How incredibly exciting.

Warmest congratulations to each Australian Olympic athlete.

What a country we could be if we became — on a far-reaching level — inspired by the role models our Olympians are.

Gina Rinehart is the Executive Chairman of the Hancock Prospecting Group and patron of Swimming Australia, Rowing Australia, Volleyball Australia and Synchronised Swimming Australia

Courtesy of The Daily Telegraph

 

The Rinehart Review, First Edition – Rio Games

by 1 September 2016

Welcome to the first edition of the Rinehart Review – and greetings from Rio!

The Olympics are incredible for spectators, but more importantly it’s about the world’s best athletes - athletes who’ve become the world’s best after years of outstanding efforts, discipline, dedication, hard training and persistence. With these attributes, they are great role models and ambassadors for our country.

As Patron for four sports – Swimming, Rowing, Volleyball and Synchronised Swimming – I know something of the athlete’s journey to Rio - a journey based on important life skills, hard work, great effort, self-discipline, dedication and persistence. I hope they put these skills to good use throughout their lives.

These attributes result in them being great role models for the lives of other Australians, not for their outstanding competition times and performances, but for these attributes that enabled them to reach world class.

 

 

SWIMMING

At the swimming, Mack Horton, Kyle Chambers and the Women’s 4×100 metre relay team shone brightly winning gold for Australia! At the time of writing, our swimming team contributed 50 per cent of all gold medals to our entire Olympic team in Rio. Congratulations to all of our swimmers and to Swimming Australia President Hon John Bertrand for his great support to improve the culture in the swim team since the London 2012 Olympics. Congratulations everyone!

And yes, that really is the Olympic Torch our famous swimming sisters and I were honoured to hold in the above photo. In the below photo I’m with Hon John Bertrand, President of Swimming Australia, after winning gold on the first night – a great start to the Olympics.

 

 

ROWING

Over at Lagoa Stadium, our rowers sped across the water to win 1 gold and 2 silvers making us the number 3 rowing nation at the games. Congratulations to rowing superstar Kim Brennan for winning gold in the women’s single sculls, where she lead the entire race – a fantastic effort.

Despite difficult weather conditions where boats capsized, Kim rowed very strongly to qualify for the final. I am delighted that Kim was selected to be the flag bearer for the closing ceremony. Warm congratulations also to our men’s quadruple sculls team and the men’s coxless four team on winning silver. Congratulations rowing teams and all Aussie Olympic rowers!

Below is Kim’s gold medal – much heavier than I realised. Next photo below is the Rio rowing course, isn’t it beautiful? And further below, I’m with Taddie and more green and gold! I think the Brazilians were extra friendly to us Aussies because we wear green and gold too!

 

 

VOLLEYBALL

With the iconic Copacabana beach in the background, our beach volleyballers put in a terrific effort, taking on some of the world’s best teams. I especially enjoyed Mariafe and Nicole’s stunning match against Switzerland, where their huge efforts took them to a very close tiebreaker and several match points! Congratulations also to Louise and Taliqua on making it to the Quarter-Finals against the US – we watched some really hard fought and very close matches!

I also especially enjoyed spending time with our team at Volleyball House in Rio and meeting their families – thank you, and being encouraged to throw and catch a few balls straight after a night game at the Cococabana Stadium, running in that sand sure isn’t as easy as the fantastically fit girls make it look!

 

 

 

SYNCHRONISED SWIMMING

And, warm congratulations to our wonderful synchronised swimmers Bianca, Nikita, Cristina, Deborah, Danielle, Amie, Hannah, Emily and Rose. Different to the other sports, our synchronised swimming team receive no government funding whatsoever, with their parents especially supporting them for years, and they are also the youngest team with an average age of under 20.

The two in swimsuits below were still wet from just completing a beautiful performance in the pool. The kangaroo on the family of the synchronised swimmers T-Shirt I was given even has a clip on its nose like the swimmers! It was lovely to see the mothers with their daughters rush up for photos with our girls, or should I say, stars, after their competition, wanting I believe, inspiration for their daughters. 

In the history of Australia’s participation in the games, only 34 synchronised swimmers have ever qualified for the Olympics, 9 of whom competed in Rio this month, and 8 of these for their first Olympics. A fantastic effort. And for those who are West Australians, I’m proud to say, the majority of the team are from West Australia. And also proud to say, hopefully our sponsorship of WA Synchronised Swimming, which we started prior to our national sponsorship, may have helped our girls on their journey to Rio.

Photos below were taken at the pool and stadium with our wonderful girls.

 

 

Warmest congratulations again to all of our teams who represented Australia at the Olympics, especially for their efforts and sacrifice over many years to be able to do so.

Article – Gina Rinehart: Australia’s biggest Olympic fan

by 8 August 2016

30 July 2016
Financial Review

John Bertrand calls her the “matriarch” of the Australian Olympic team.

Mining billionaire Gina Rinehart has quietly become the biggest individual financial supporter of Australia’s Olympic efforts as the team heads to Rio de Janeiro for next week’s Games.

Rinehart has emerged as a sponsor of four Olympic sports, putting in an estimated $5 million annually – more than any other individual and more than most corporate backers.

Having long had an interest in swimming, a sport that her children competed in at state level in Western Australia, Rinehart had been a sponsor of the WA and Queensland state teams before stepping up to become a big sponsor of Swimming Australia in 2012.

Rinehart sent a personal note of congratulations to swimmer Cate Campbell in July when she broke the world record for ...

Rinehart sent a personal note of congratulations to swimmer Cate Campbell in July when she broke the world record for the 100 metres freestyle. Delly Car

A year later Rinehart became a patron and backer of Volleyball Australia, and in the past 18 months has also begun sponsoring Rowing Australia and Synchro Australia, the governing body of synchronised swimming.

Financial hole

Australia’s richest woman will also be a notable presence in the stands in Rio when competition begins next weekend, criss-crossing the city to cheer on Australian swimmers alongside Bertrand, the president of Swimming Australia, and synchronised swimmers at the Aquatics Centre in Rio’s south, beach volleyballers on iconic Copacabana Beach and the rowing team on Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas in between.

Bertrand – president of Swimming Australia – says Rinehart’s sponsorship of his organisation helped dig it out of a financial hole after previous sponsor Energy Australia dropped the organisation after a scandal-plagued London Olympics, while Volleyball Australia president Craig Carracher says several female volleyballers would not have made Rio without Rinehart’s support.

Gina Rinehart  with the 2016 Australian Rowing Team. "The culture of the team and ethics around it is important to ...

Gina Rinehart with the 2016 Australian Rowing Team. “The culture of the team and ethics around it is important to Gina,” says Rowing Australia president and Wesfarmers executive Rob Scott. Supplied

“Gina has been a game-changer for us,” says Bertrand. “Sure, Hancock Prospecting gets its name poolside. But for Gina this is about giving back to Australia. She sees these swimmers as future leaders, and there’s a message about resilience of overcoming setbacks that resonates with her, and they can see common ground given what she has done in business.”

“She gets sport and wants to help Australian sport,” says Australian Sports Commission chairman John Wylie. “She’s a very proud Australian and she’s been doing this in a very quiet and unassuming way. She’s also done it at a time when she’s had substantial challenges with the Roy Hill project and the iron ore sector has been under a huge amount of pressure.”

Several of Australia’s top Olympic hopes got to see Roy Hill with their own eyes in April, when Rinehart flew a group in a private jet to the giant project in Western Australia’s Pilbara.

Among those on the tour were swimmers Cate Campbell, to whom Rinehart sent a personal note of congratulations in July when she broke the world record for the 100 metres freestyle, and Mack Horton, who praised Rinehart on live national television after competing in the Australian Olympic qualifiers weeks after the trip.

Nikki Laird (left), Gina Rinehart (middle), and Mariafe Artacho del Solar after winning a beach volleyball event at ...

Nikki Laird (left), Gina Rinehart (middle), and Mariafe Artacho del Solar after winning a beach volleyball event at Scarborough Beach in Perth. Owen Hammond

Special dinner

There were also rowers, synchronised swimmers and volleyballers along for the ride, which included a special dinner under the stars at Uluru and then another plane ride for a gathering at the Opera House in Sydney.

The athletes were also presented with a copy of Gina’s 2015 book, Northern Australia and then some, and swapped stories about leadership and overcoming obstacles and goal-setting.

“The only thing that Gina wants is to give the athletes a platform so they can be the best they can be,” says volleyball’s Carracher. “She realises that they might find themselves in a position of real leadership in 20 years’ time, so she really wants to support them.”

In June, Rinehart jumped on a plane during the weekend of her daughter Ginia’s wedding on Hamilton Island to fly to Cairns to celebrate the second women’s team to qualify for the beach volleyball in Rio. Rinehart landed, spent an hour and a half with the team, and then flew out again.

During a recent trip to Europe Rinehart spent time with the Australian Rowing team at its training camp at Varese, near Milan. “The culture of the team and ethics around is also important to Gina and not just being associated with who has the best chance of winning gold medals,” says Rowing Australia president and Wesfarmers executive Rob Scott.

Major factor

The synchronised swimming team has a design featuring Sturt’s Desert Pea on their uniforms, the same flower found on the logo of Rinehart’s Georgina Hope Foundation. “It is nice to know there’s a sponsor and a person like Mrs Rinehart cheering us on,” said team member Bianca Hammett in a video thanking the billionaire for her support on Rinehart’s official website.

Rinehart’s Olympic financial support has been a combination of sponsorship by her Hancock Prospecting mining business, including having naming rights for events such as the swimming team’s Olympic trials in Adelaide in April, and direct payments to athletes via the Georgina Hope Foundation. The latter was a major factor in Rinehart being awarded an Order of Merit from the Australian Olympic Committee in 2014.

At least 120 swimmers are said to directly receive up to $40,000 per year from the foundation, depending on their world ranking, and Rinehart also funds young swimmers and university scholarships.

“The question is, why does she do this?” says Bertrand. “Well, I think she loves the concept of Australians taking on the world. She gets a great sense of satisfaction seeing these people go out and do their best.”

Gina Rinehart has ploughed money into major events and been closely connected with competitors.

Courtesy of the Australian Financial Review

Article – You’re All Mugs: Australia’s Richest Woman Attacks ‘Coward’ Politicians

by 20 June 2016

18 June 2016
Jennifer Sexton
The Daily Telegraph

Australia’s richest woman has unloaded on our federal politicians, declaring neither side of politics has the “guts” to tackle our nation’s most pressing problem — too much government spending.

Gina Rinehart told The Saturday Telegraph that Australia must urgently cut government spending to get the economy back on track. In a rare foray into political commentary, Ms Rinehart said it didn’t make sense that India could cut red tape but Australia couldn’t.

To read the complete article, click Debt and red tape.

Courtesy of The Daily Telegraph

 

Article – We Can’t Afford Big Government

by 20 June 2016

18 June 2016
Gina Rinehart
The Daily Telegraph

The most significant issue that is being overlooked in the federal election campaign is the increasing size of both levels of government in Australia, and the very high cost of their approvals, permits, licences and compliance.

Despite the Australian economy benefiting from the strong commodity prices of the past decade, record government debts were created, partly due to increasing government size and the cost of increasing regulation and compliance burdens.

Australia must act more urgently in this commodity prices crash to significantly cut the costs of doing business to ensure that we stay competitive internationally, and protect the living standards that we enjoy today.

Yet there is one giant cost slab that isn’t decreasing: government.

According to the International Monetary Fund, Australia has the fastest growth in government spending among 17 comparable countries and the third highest growth in net government debt among 17 comparable countries. Based on the IPA’s calculations, government red tape is Australia’s largest industry.

To read the complete article, click Daily Telegraph Article by Gina Rinehart.

Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph