Article – Guests do double-take as Gina Rinehart walks into Barnaby's election after-party

8 September 2013
Catherine Clifford
ABC News

Billionaire iron ore miner, Gina Rinehart, was a surprise guest at Barnaby Joyce’s election after-party.
She walked into the auditorium of the West Tamworth Leagues Club unannounced, looking relaxed in a white caftan and pearls.
Ms Rinehart says she came, not to hog the limelight, but to help her friend Barnaby Joyce celebrate his victory.
The former Queensland Senator romped home to take the seat of New England for the Nationals’ with a 29 per cent swing.
Gina Rinehart says the Coalition’s task now is to tackle the Australian economy’s structural problems.
“We really do need people investing in this country so there are more opportunities and we can pay back our debt,” she said.
“You know, we’ve got a working population that’s decreasing, we’ve got an ageing population that’s increasing [so] where is the money going to come from for our essential services unless we start looking at these problems head on?”
Gina Rinehart says she’s optimistic the Coalition will get Australia’s economy back on track.
“I was invited and I’m really happy to be here [because] Australia does need to see a government in that’s a bit more inclined to recognise we’re in record debt,” she said.
“We got rid of our Future Fund, our Infrastructure Fund and we need to do something to make investment possible in this country.”
New England MP-elect, Barnaby Joyce, says he’s proud to call Gina Rinehart his friend.
He says Australia needs more entrepreneurs like her.
“Gina is a great friend and I’m a good mate of Gina’s and she’s got an Australian company which employs Australian people which pays tax in this nation and I’m so proud,” he said.
“We need lots of Gina Rineharts, not one, [because] when we have a nation of lots of them we’re going to be a stronger nation.”
Barnaby Joyce hugged Gina Rinehart and told the waiting media he is proud to call her his “mate”.
“When we have someone like Gina, who is an Australian who actually is so different from other companies who are actually not Australian, then we should be proud of them [and] we shouldn’t kick them around,” he said.
“We should also be prepared to stand next to our mates because I’m a person who believes the Australian mateship quality is alive and well.”
Courtesy ABC News