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Monday, 18 November 2019

Father's shadow looms over Australian billionaire's book launch

Rinehart's first book was eagerly awaited by an Australian public enthralled and sometimes appalled by her story of big business, family feuds and almost unimaginable wealth.

Reuters, Tuesday 27 Nov 2012
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Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart, one of the world's wealthiest people, has displayed a trait rarely revealed publicly among the super-rich: insecurity.

Rinehart's first book was eagerly awaited by an Australian public enthralled and sometimes appalled by her story of big business, family feuds and almost unimaginable wealth.

But the 58-year-old widow with a fortune estimated by Forbes at $18 billion, played it safe at the launch of thebook, 'Northern Australia and Then Some: Changes we need to make our country rich'.

Media were hand-picked for events around the country and Rinehart surrounded herself with hundreds of supporters mostly from the mining fraternity, where she is revered for transforming her late father's debt-ridden iron ore business into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

There were no advance copies of the book and no questions over a fractured family life that has left Rinehart wrestling with three of her four grown children over control of a family trust that rakes in hundreds of millions of year in royalties.

Nor was there mention of her contentious plan to hire nearly 2,000 foreign workers to help build a $10 billion outback iron ore mine, at a time when Australians by the thousands are losing their jobs across the sector.

"The way she went about controlling the launch of her book shows a deep insecurity on her part given these types of things are typically designed as promotional media events," said David McKnight, an associate professor in Journalism and Media at the University of New South Wales.

"This was Gina Rinehart controlling the media in order to display her over-developed sense of hero worship for her father."

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