Mrs Gina Rinehart's Momentum Most Inspiring Woman of the Year 2016 Award Speech

10 March 2016
Mrs. Gina Rinehart

Mrs Gina Rinehart’s Momentum Most Inspiring Woman of the Year 2016 Award Speech

Distinguished guests and friends,

Thank you for this wonderful award on international women’s day.

Good Inspiration is so important in all our lives, so it is great to see on international woman’s day, such awards. We all know or perhaps should, that to be successful in what we chose to do, it takes effort, hard work , long hours, persistence and perseverance, although there is a tendency these days, to want rewards without putting in the hard yards! But sometimes, to go that bit further, maybe when exhausted or even down, to have good inspiration we can actually go that bit further.
And over at times, very difficult or challenging times, I think I can empathise with both!

Briefly, it’s been challenging to takeover a company back in the early nineties with the many difficulties it had. My life for many years was iced coffee in the morning, when time, get ready for office, drive to office, work all day, and then with my wonderful night shift, then when getting too tired to talk, go home, usually cold dinner, bed, next morning that iced coffee and back to office and repeat.

It’s not one that I’d recommend would suit all, but rarely boring!

But the Roy hill story I do think was and is interesting, given for our company it started when BHP had done initial exploration at Roy hill, decided from their exploration, was little or less there of value, and dropped the tenements.

Unanimous written professional advice recommended we not take up these ex BHP tenements, but I was then a young, possibly too enthusiastic chair, and wanted to try. Even after our company had successfully applied for the tenements, written professional advice continued recommending to drop the tenements. Late last year , in December, after our company’s successful exploration and years of work, my daughter, execs , partners and me, were on the ship that carried our first Roy hill ore out of port Hedland harbour, on its voyage to South Korea. And our company’s exploration has enabled the basis for Australia’s largest iron ore mining project to be built, reaching its capacity of 55Mtpa next year. Not bad, from an area recommended unanimously not to take on.

Of course this couldn’t be done without massive risk investment, our minor partners and we contributed some 4 billion, then almost ran out of money for the project, and plans to stop were drawn up, before the $7 billion of debt financing was raised and available for drawdown. This financing was quite special, involving 19 major banks, including the 11 largest banks in the world, and 5 ECAs, the largest financing in the world’s history, for a mainland mainly Greenfield mining project.

It’s investments like this that Australia really needs, and needs to do more to encourage, to maintain our standard of living, provide opportunities and revenue, and hopefully, help us with our record debt, and not see us become another Greece.
Talking of need to do more to encourage investment , Roy hill had to go through more than 4000 time consuming, expensive, risky government approvals permits and licences, even before construction commenced, haven’t yet found any country’s government which does more red tape! And at a time of significant commodity price crashes and uncertainty, with all the consequences of opportunity and job losses and loss of revenue, isn’t it time our governments realised this regulatory and compliance expense must be urgently cut, and did so, to help us maintain our competitiveness?

My friend Jim Viets kindly wrote and produced a song for me about this, that I’d like to share with you.

Yes, inspiration is needed! And fortunately there is much around us.

Just look at many mothers, and I was especially fortunate, pushing themselves through little sleep at night, or night after night, getting up for feeds, and or sick children, and often handling the stress and exhaustion of teenage years!, what inspiring people our mothers are.

Let’s look at those in the outback, struggling with little city conveniences, though, high temperatures, floods, famines, fires, cyclones, poisonous snakes, government regulations, licences and permits and more. Wonderful Australians, and again, very inspiring.

Let’s look at our pioneers, and early entrepreneurs, the hardships they faced, these inspiring people helped to build our country.

Let’s look at the incredible people serving our country to defend us all, currently, and throughout Australia’s proud history.

Let’s look at our Olympians, past as well as present. Their incredible dedication and efforts, what fantastic ambassadors for our country.

And more, carers and those working hard for charitable causes, who do so much for others, unselfishly, often sacrificing themselves.

And another very special and unfortunately large group of people, cancer sufferers, battling their cancers, and often harsh chemotherapies and multiple surgeries, researching to find remedies and trying their best to live for family and friends, truly inspiring people.

One of these cancer sufferers, my dear goddaughter, Rachel, wanted very much to be here in person, however, unfortunately that was not possible as she continues to battle cancer. Rachel has without question, been an amazing inspiration to me, as was her dear mother, and my friend, the late Pat Kierath.

…so my cousin, Diana Hancock, has kindly agreed to deliver a few sentences on Rachel’s behalf.

What a wonderful country we could be, if we chose to benefit from inspiration, instead of trying to tarnish and knock those who work hard through many difficulties, and succeed.

Thank you.

Courtesy of Mrs. Gina Rinehart

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