Mrs Gina Rinehart AO Named AFR’s Business Person of the Year

Hancock Prospecting is celebrating tonight after Executive Chairman, Mrs Gina Rinehart AO, was named the Australian Financial Review’s Business Person of the Year at their event in Sydney. Under Mrs Rinehart’s leadership, Hancock Prospecting has been transformed from a company facing a parlous financial position in 1992, when she became Executive Chairman, to Australia’s most successful private company.

Hancock Prospecting is celebrating tonight after Executive Chairman, Mrs Gina Rinehart AO, was named the Australian Financial Review’s Business Person of the Year at their event in Sydney. Under Mrs Rinehart’s leadership, Hancock Prospecting has been transformed from a company facing a parlous financial position in 1992, when she became Executive Chairman, to Australia’s most successful private company.

On behalf of the Hancock Prospecting executive team and staff, congratulations Mrs Rinehart on this well-earned recognition for your hard work, dedication, and leadership. Hancock Prospecting, and indeed Australia, would not be what it is today without you.

Hon Peter Dutton, Leader of the Opposition

“This award not only speaks to Gina’s incredible contribution to our nation in 2023, it is testimony to the work of an Australian patriot whose endeavours in mining and agriculture, and support for sport and philanthropy, have bettered the lives of many Australians over many decades.

Gina has helped nurture and grow our mining and agriculture sectors. And it is these critical sectors’ economic strengths which have steered our nation through financial storms, helped build our cities and infrastructure, and supported our first-class social safety net.

Our country owes Gina a debt of gratitude for her life’s service. She thoroughly deserves this honour and its accompanying recognition.”

Garry Korte – Group CEO, Hancock Prospecting

“Huge congratulations to Mrs Rinehart on her receipt of this award – a well-earned recognition of her business acumen and efforts. Mrs Rinehart has taken Hancock Prospecting from being a company in precarious financial circumstances to the most successful private company in Australian history, creating thousands of high-paying jobs and paying billions of dollars in tax along the way. That is an incredible achievement, and testament to her hard work, determination, and commitment to her company and its employees.”

Gerhard Veldsman – CEO Operations, Hancock Prospecting

“Roy Hill is a globally significant iron ore project, and would not be here today if it wasn’t for Mrs Rinehart’s vision, hard work and commitment. Congratulations to Mrs Rinehart as she adds the AFR Business Person of the Year Award to the vast array of awards and recognitions she has rightfully received as Australia’s most successful business person. We are constantly seeking to improve our business, be it in our workers’ safety and conditions, our use of innovative technology, and our productivity. This is all driven by Mrs Rinehart who is dedicated to making Roy Hill not only the best mining company in Australia, but the best company to work for in Australia.”

Sanjiv Manchanda – CEO Projects, Hancock Prospecting

“Mrs Rinehart is an inspirational leader, always working hard and looking for new opportunities and ways to improve our businesses and provide exemplary leadership by example. It is good to see her incredible business achievements acknowledged, Hancock Prospecting certainly wouldn’t be the success that it is today without her at the helm.”

Adam Giles – CEO, Hancock Agriculture & S. Kidman & Co

“Mrs Rinehart is an iconic Australian, and a business person who we can all be proud of. Her commitment to Australian businesses and Australian agriculture is revealing of her character. Many successful business people would have long ago bought a boat and sailed into the sunset, but Mrs Rinehart is still working hard every day to make Hancock even more successful, invest even more in Australia, create more jobs right across the country.”

Stuart Johnston – CEO, Hancock Energy

“It is no wonder that Hancock Prospecting has become the success it is today under Mrs Rinehart’s long-standing leadership, the results of her business acumen and incredible work ethic speak for themselves. This is a well-earned and deserved recognition for Australia’s most successful business person. Hancock’s profitable expansion into energy shows that Mrs Rinehart is not slowing down when it comes to investing in Australia and the job creating, tax paying, primary resources projects that Australia and the world needs.”

Ian Davies – CEO, Senex Energy

“Congratulations to Mrs Rinehart on this achievement, certainly a well-earned recognition of her role as Australia’s leading business person. Mrs Rinehart’s work ethic and commitment to her business and all her employees across Australia are second to none. Mrs Rinehart is a unique Australian, and our country wouldn’t be what it is without her.”

Mike Young – CEO, NorthBack

“Mrs Gina Rinehart, an iconic and inspirational Australian business leader, has received well-deserved acclaim for her extraordinary vision and relentless dedication. Transforming Hancock Prospecting into a historic success, she has not only revitalized the company but also significantly impacted Australia’s economy by creating thousands of jobs and contributing immensely in taxes. Her exceptional leadership extends beyond mere business acumen to encompass a deep commitment to innovation, employee welfare, and national progress. Mrs Rinehart’s tireless efforts in driving forward key industries like mining and agriculture exemplify a unique blend of hard work, foresight, and an unwavering dedication to Australia’s growth and prosperity.”

Carlos de Miguel III – CEO, Hanrine Exploration

“A marvellous achievement as Mrs Rinehart’s success comes from a lifetime of leading by example, constantly challenging her executives to grow, and inspiring her staff across numerous ventures on 4 continents. Hard work, determination and tenacity have not only established Mrs Rinehart as a truly great business leader, but also by her own design she has constantly changed the lives of countless others for the better…a feat most of us aspire to, but seldomly achieve.”

Tad Watroba – Executive Director, Hancock Prospecting

“Sincere congratulations to Mrs Rinehart, Hancock Prospecting Executive Chair, for receiving the AFR Business Person of the Year Award. No one is more deserving of this award and I am so happy for her that her hard work and dedication has been recognised again by a major award. As a witness of the company’s transformation from a small exploration team when she took it over in 1992 to a very substantial mining and still exploration company, also the largest private company in Australia which it is now, I may confidently say, that she accomplished the success nobody gave her a chance to achieve more than 30 years ago. Her leadership and dedication took us all on an incredible journey to the point where we are today the envy of many. Under her leadership the mining/exploration arm of the company extended into other commodities outside iron ore, such as, lithium, rare earth, copper, natural gas etc.

In addition, the agriculture business grew up also exponentially also. Acquisition of iconic ag companies such as Kidman, stations such as Fossil Downs, and growing the largest herd of a top-quality wagyu beef does not only require a good business acumen but also a lot of guts, persistence, vision, hard work and drive. And she’s got it all. Once again, a sincere congratulation Mrs Rinehart.”

Mrs Gina Rinehart AO
AFR Business Person of the Year Award Remarks

Good evening, and thank you. It is certainly an honour to receive this recognition.

Well it’s a long time since I’ve read from notes, but knowing how the media love to misquote me, tonight I will be reading from typed notes! I’ll be mainly speaking about that busy chappie, blind Freddie. And that too rare essential, common sense.

Thank you Peter Costello, Michael Stutchbury, and a warm thanks to the kind judges!

And may I extend an extra welcome to Australia to former PM and if can add, very entertaining, Boris Johnson.

Of course, I thank my 7 fantastic CEOs, and our CEO of Senex, Ian Davies, and all of our staff across Australia, be they working on our farms, stations, our mine sites, exploration camps or offices.

I love to hear from them that they’ve never worked at a better company, this is something I hear often. Long may this be.

Over the years, we’ve been thru tough years, and for our staff working on construction, these were very tough years indeed.

But now, thanks to our staff over decades, I couldn’t be prouder of our companies. I really couldn’t be. And truly believe our staff are right, we have the best private companies in Australia.

And you know what I like about our CEOs, apart from the fact we work fantastically well together, and they work long hours, they want to aim for more, and build the best private companies in the world!

Pretty special for a few Aussies who in the early 90s started off with such a mess, please don’t believe what you read in the media.

My dad’s estate was bankrupt which should be public knowledge, given the lengthy legal proceedings and appeal.

And, also public knowledge, he’d sold his shares in our company, to an entity not owned by our company, other than a few shares of no value and with no voting rights, and spent almost all of those sale proceedings pre his passing.

I still puzzle why the left media love to call me heiress, and even more puzzling is how they portray that once the government awards tenements to a company, after doing nothing much, money flows. Other than to undermine those who try hard and work hard.

The vast majority of tenements never make it to become mines. And as blind Freddie knows, no money flows. I’ll chat about that later too.

Our company has shown what outcomes can be achieved when employers and employees are able to work together.

It has been a challenging year for our primary industries with more and more interventions from the government and many in the city not understanding the import of these.

In agriculture, it’s no longer the dangerous fires, droughts, floods that are the main problem, but man made ones. Government ones.

One of my least favourites, is restricting farmers from being able to protect their families, staff, pets, homes and investment, from fires, outlawing firebreaks over inadequate dimensions.

Another that has upset many farmers, indeed has them very worried, is the building of vast tracts of solar panels and wind farms and electricity connections traversing over their land.

Yes, it is estimated that one third of prime agricultural land will be taken over. What do you think this will mean to fresh quality food availability, and prices. Maybe some more of these eyesores should be placed in city parks, rivers and city beaches, for us city dwellers to get a better idea, and to lessen the impact on agricultural land.

I know this won’t happen, you’re safe given the cities-are where the votes are, ….farmers however…

And we could try out the suggestion I read in the media recently about putting things under the solar panels, though I’d not recommend this. If fires come, it’s best to stay far away, stock too, the toxicity of those solar panels is quite extensive.

But at least the media article recommended to make the solar panels higher, so more weeds and things could enjoy underneath, the iron ore industry thanks you for that suggestion, given the extra steel that would be required, but I’m not sure those who then need to pay the increased bills for the extra steel over many many miles, will be as ecstatic.

And although farmers are upset, worried, sadly even frightened with these fire risks, transmission lines and large bird killers being placed on their properties, this is just the tip of the landslide waiting for them with net zero policies. A typical station, like for instance fossil downs, using the exact numbers of vehicles used to work that iconic station, to replace with electric vehicles will cost $10.4 to $11.4 million.

Plus unknown fines, as some of those EVs aren’t produced yet. And it doesn’t stop there.

If your station has say 50 windmills, windmills being essential to get the daily water stock need or they die, and you are required to change that to solar pumps at $ 70,000 a pop, that’s another $ 3.5 million.

And it doesn’t stop there, stations run on diesel fuelled generators, change them to solar, and please don’t forget that hidden fact, the sun it don’t shine at night, and, giant batteries will also be required.

Just how many farms and stations do you think will be able to pay for all this and still be able to operate, after hugely increasing the cost of food and fibres to city folk.

As I said in Rockie, probably only those who have a mining company in their back pocket. But perhaps inner cities won’t mind different quality food, coming in from overseas, not as fresh, not produced with our clean air and water, or environmental standards.

When primary industries are used to carry onerous government burdens, blind Freddie knows, those costs must be passed on. Even if increasing council rates you think don’t affect you, cos you don’t own a house, they actually do, as the landlord has to pass onto you via rent.

And payroll tax, even if you think that doesn’t matter either, that’s just for businesses to pay, well guess what, as blind Freddie knows, that has to be passed on to you too.

And excise on fuel, even if you don’t own a car, well, anything that requires transport requires fuel, ag equipment also needs to bring us, grains, cereals, milk, etc, even office people getting to and from their desks, these costs are passed on.

I can’t think of anything that isn’t touched by the governments excise on fuel. I call that a nasty tax, that with people struggling, would be an absolutely fantastic one to cut.

Like other businesses, we have been speaking out regarding these interventions where we see that the path the government is taking is not in the best interests of Australians.

Australians are dealing with rising costs of food, energy, fuel, housing, and so much more. Yet too often our governments’ policies, rather than helping to alleviate these pressures in fact add to them.

You may have heard me on about pensioners, the vast majority of whom are sadly going through distressing times, how we can do this to our elderly is beyond me.

Let them work if then want to as much as they want, without upper limit on hours, and without onerous complicated paperwork and without discriminatory rates of tax imposed for their working longer hours and being able to improve their lives.

My blood boils, that our veterans, who’ve served our country, many even risking their lives, are also faced with poverty, even homelessness, with restrictions on how long they can work.

Complicated paperwork, and unfair discriminatory taxes if they work hours beyond what okayed by the Canberra bureaucracy.

And our uni students, let them experience work, build up experience, savings for their safer car, or even to put towards a home.

Why in a worker shortage crisis, record debt, rising costs of living, can blind Freddie see what should be permitted, but, our government can’t.

We need policy that helps Australians. We need policies that make investment in our country worth doing. If we have any interest in maintaining our standards of living, we should be doing what other countries are doing.

Rolling out the red carpet for investment. Expensive trade trips, even the expense of trade personnel overseas, well, without cutting the cost and delay or worse of government tape, there’s no reason for those. We need to understand that rolling out the red carpet for investment does not mean increasing government tape and regulations. It does not mean the overburdened taxpayers paying for lawfare to delay or stop projects.

Blind Freddie can see. Common sense would be so helpful.

The old but true law of supply and demand; there is just no getting around the fact that if you decrease the supply of a commodity, such as gas, while demand remains the same or increases, it’s inevitable there are going to be increases in prices.

The way to reverse this is not by government intervention, but in fact the opposite – removing tape and negative policies and encouraging the investment needed to bring on more supply. Yep, blind Freddie can see this.

The AFR, Australia’s leading business newspaper, and its media mates, has an important role to play in conveying these blind Freddie messages to our government.

The eminent scientist and friend of my father, who scientists who knew both Teller and Einstein stated Teller had the greater mind, and that is something of import I did inherit and treasure, that friendship, who we hosted in Australia on numerous occasions, Dr Edward Teller, was once asked by a journalist if he was frightened of the responsibility he had having worked on the hydrogen bomb.

Dr Teller responded by asking if he was frightened of the responsibility he had as a journalist: quote, “All of us in today’s world have influences far beyond our immediate imagination, but yours perhaps reaches farthest.”

I hope all those in the media here this evening who want to see higher living standards, hence greater investment, and easing cost of living pressures don’t ignore what blind Freddie can see. Of course you can do your usual attacks on me, controversial, etc, but common sense is badly needed.

Thank you again, I hope you’re all enjoying the lead up to Chrissie, and have a very happy Christmas. My New Year’s Eve wish, for next year, please don’t ignore what blind Freddie can see, and provide tonnes of common sense in your media, your contribution is critical.