Gina Rinehart calls for lower wages

Mining heiress Gina Rinehart has hit the headlines yet again

Gina Rinehart calls for lower wages

Mining heiress Gina Rinehart has hit the headlines yet again, this time for comments made in a 10-minute YouTube video created for the Sydney Mining Club. In the video Ms. Rinehart bemoans the uncompetitiveness of the Australian economy, stating that we are too expensive and too uncompetitive in the international business arena. She notes that, if we competed at the Olympic Games "as sluggishly as we compete economically, there would be an outcry". The high cost of labour is one of the main reasons for this uncompetitiveness, Ms. Rinehart maintains, with the observation that African workers "want to work … and are willing to work for less than two dollars a day".

The Prime Minister and Treasurer both took exception to the remarks regarding the hourly rate, with Julia Gillard commenting

“It’s not the Australian way to toss people two dollars – to toss them a two dollar gold coin – and then ask them to work for a day,”

Ms. Rinehart is currently Australia’s wealthiest person and the richest woman in the world. Recently she has called for a lowering of the minimum wage and suggested that poorer Australians should cut down on drinking, smoking and socialising if they wanted to get rich.

Read the Australian Financial Review’s summary here

Opinion - Button up Gina – you have no idea

How much do you earn per day?

If you are on a full single Age Pension you are earning $53.80.

If you are mining in Africa, apparently, you are on $2.00.

And if you inherited your daddy’s mining company, it’s $2 million an hour – say $16 million per day.

Yes, that’s right $2 million an hour.

So it is likely if you are on $2 million an hour you may not fully understand the trials of those who were not born into great wealth. In fact, it is entirely possible you simply won’t understand anything at all about how hard so many Australians work – and how much of a struggle it is to cover the mortgage, let alone all the other weekly bills.

In order to properly research this blog, I suffered through Ms. Rinehart’s 10-minute YouTube presentation to the Sydney Mining Club. It is heavily scripted, laborious even, as she reads a list of carefully selected statistics from an autocue.

Many other statistics are overlooked.

Our economy is described as sluggish. But if so, why are we the envy of nearly every other nation in the OECD with quarter upon quarter growth for 21 years?  It’s really time all the facts were highlighted and not just those that suit Ms. Rinehart’s billionaire’s view of the world.

Quoting the pay rate of African workers at $2.00 an hour is as irrelevant as it is insulting. Of course pay rates vary according to the region of the world. And of course some companies get away with slave labour. But what has this got to do with Australian companies and Australian workers? Didn’t our mothers and fathers work hard and pay taxes to help create a system where nearly all of us are treated decently and fairly? And shouldn’t we all support that system ahead of lowering minimum wages and striking some opportunistic pay rate to help miners earning two million a day earn even more? African workers were in the news a couple of weeks ago when 34 of them were gunned down during a protest at a mine. And more recently when their workmates were charged with murder, even though many were running in the opposite direction at the time. Such outrages and lack of human rights have no place in Africa – nor in Australia. So perhaps discussions of our economy need to stay on track and not introduce such irrelevant and unhelpful measures as the rate of pay in a developing country where workers have few, if any rights at all.

In the interests of supporting a healthier debate, let’s also remember the contribution to the Australian economy from mining is only about 10 per cent. The number of workers employed is barely two per cent. Mining is not saving this country. Repeat, mining is not saving our economy. The vast bulk of the profits go straight overseas. Many other industries are inputting far more into our national GDP. It’s time we heard from other successful business people – perhaps those who have built their wealth from scratch rather than inherited it – as to how they believe we can continue to prosper while ensuring we all get a fair share of the pie.

Were Gina Rinehart’s comments helpful?
Yes
No
 
Should we lower the minimum wage?
Yes
No
 




    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    battiejl
    6th Sep 2012
    11:50am
    Give me one of the baubles hanging around her neck and I could live for a year on it - GET A GRIP GINA and like the politicians try living on the basic wage
    arb1950
    6th Sep 2012
    11:03pm
    Although I feel I am not at all a violent person, I find myself thinking...give me one of the baubles hanging around her neck and I will gladly strangle her with it! What a bitch. So completely unable to empathise with people who are disadvantaged and poor. It makes my blood boil to listen to her and her comments make me feel physically sick. I feel very sorry for her and I feel especially sorry for her children because her blood runs through their veins...yet she also treats them like shit. All I can say Gina, is try to live for 6 months on Newstart and then you may have the right to comment on workers wages.
    It is alright to think it, as long as you don't act on what you are thinking... it is alright to think it, as long as you don't act on what you are thinking...aaarrgghh... it's not working. I still would love to strangle her!
    arb1950
    6th Sep 2012
    11:03pm
    Although I feel I am not at all a violent person, I find myself thinking...give me one of the baubles hanging around her neck and I will gladly strangle her with it! What a bitch. So completely unable to empathise with people who are disadvantaged and poor. It makes my blood boil to listen to her and her comments make me feel physically sick. I feel very sorry for her and I feel especially sorry for her children because her blood runs through their veins...yet she also treats them like shit. All I can say Gina, is try to live for 6 months on Newstart and then you may have the right to comment on workers wages.
    It is alright to think it, as long as you don't act on what you are thinking... it is alright to think it, as long as you don't act on what you are thinking...aaarrgghh... it's not working. I still would love to strangle her!
    jennyb
    6th Sep 2012
    11:58am
    Jabber The Hutt (no, not a mispelling!). To be soundly ignored until she has a stern reality check. Don't forget this is the person who wants to take over Fairfax, but won't sign the "Editorial Independence" clause......
    Pass the Ductape
    6th Sep 2012
    12:00pm
    Coming from Gina Rinehart - that's rich!

    I dare Gina to bring these Indian workers out and have them work for $2 an hour. You might even be lucky to get them off their backside long enough to clock on!
    MITZY
    6th Sep 2012
    12:01pm
    Why has Gina becomes so vocal of late? What is her aim at stirring people up with such debilitating comments. Give your fortune away Gina and live on the $2.00 per day you are advocating for a couple of years. See how you survive!
    Mrs.$2.00 Pensioner
    tomob
    6th Sep 2012
    12:03pm
    It is easily understood why Gina has a problem with her children and their rights to their Grandfathers Inheritance. She wants to keep it all and pay out a pittance for employees. It will be interseting to see if the imported workers are going to be paid in accordance with Australian wages and not the African.
    doclisa
    6th Sep 2012
    12:12pm
    I agree with Gina in some ways. If she cannot afford Australian wages and conditions as a part of her industry do what other people do who want to run a business and meet the real costs or get out. You must meet the costs of getting the minerals out of the ground or you will not have a business. So nick off and go mine somewhere else. Paying employees is part of the deal. Perhaps Australia would be better off not handing all our minerals at almost no price to Gina and leaving it in the ground for future generations to work with, use or not use, cause less damage to the environment etc etc. Bugger off Gina. Australia is too democratic and fair for your methods and meanness.
    Actual Cat
    7th Sep 2012
    3:48pm
    Yes, leave the minerals in the ground instead of selling them off for a pittance. Anyone living in Australia should be paid correct Australian wages - how dare she suggest that Indian workers be paid $2 an hour.
    Get into a mine yourself Gina and reap $16 for your 8 hour shift and see how long you last.
    Ecstatic Cyclist
    8th Sep 2012
    10:39am
    It's African workers who are willing to work for $2 a day. Indian workers at $2 an hour are too costly. For Australia to remain competitve we need to pay for the privilege of working 16 hour shifts, 7 days a week (supplying own pick and shovel). This should help us outcompete the illegal workers in the US. Give all you can to Gina, as she says, "It's no longer a sign of self interest but a duty ...". Such selflessness from this generous woman is heartening.

    6th Sep 2012
    12:16pm
    Never forget that these comments come from a woman who wants us to live in hovels like the African miners live in - but her Father built a $20M mansion that was a monument of extravagance - purely for his maid that he married - then it was flattened to rubble within several years of being built!! The waste, selfishness, and personal greed of this family is staggering!
    Actual Cat
    7th Sep 2012
    3:49pm
    Soo true - they're a disgrace!
    Ecstatic Cyclist
    8th Sep 2012
    11:34am
    Geez Abe anyone can make a mistake. If I had a $20M mansion that I'd gotten sick of and could afford it I'd have it flattened to rubble. Give Gina a break, donate all you can to her to help her remain competitive. I can't imagine how traumatic it was for her to realise the $20M mansion was "rubblished". If workers here paid their employers to work then the mansion would not have cost so much. This is why we're so uncompetitive. Get your pick and shovel and head west.
    kianga0
    6th Sep 2012
    12:17pm
    Please folks, don't be too hard on poor old Gina, you should realise that it is very difficult to make any sense when you speak around a silver spoon in your mouth. She was brought up in abject poverty by her father who had to struggle to pay his bills from the miserable income he had. There was a time when I admired her for the way she set about increasing her inheritance: her father would have been proud of her success. That admiration has sadly waned into non-existance.
    Grateful
    6th Sep 2012
    12:20pm
    People like Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest, who are making their fortunes from Australia's minerals, yet, continue to talk down Australia and its economy, should be charged with sedition.
    How bloody greedy and ungrateful are these ugly whingeing people? Maybe they should try to exploit the minerals in Africa, or Indonesia, or, Columbia etc etc, where those governments and armies and their graft and corruption make Australia look like the paradise that it is and see them complain then. How would she be if she owned a newspaper??? First two people that she would employ would be Andrew Bolt and the, so called, narrow minded cartoonist, Knight, both, surprisingly, from the Melbourne Herald Sun!! How much PERSONAL tax did Gina and Andrew Forrest pay last year as a percentage of their income???
    Jen
    6th Sep 2012
    12:36pm
    Very well said, Grateful.
    slapsy
    6th Sep 2012
    2:09pm
    Please don't compare Andrew Forrest alongside Gina Rhinehardt.Compared to her he is a true gentleman and treats all of his workers fairly.
    Grateful
    6th Sep 2012
    3:53pm
    Well tell him to stop whingeing and running down our country and its economy. He is by far the worst, even worse than Gina Rinehart in that respect.
    Taskid
    6th Sep 2012
    12:45pm
    Someone needs to mention to greedy child Gina that hearses do not come with towbars and trailers - six feet of earth make us all one size. She is to be pitied.
    Anonymous
    7th Sep 2012
    11:31am
    Heh heh, that reminds me of old Lionel Lewis, a favorite cheeky, wisecracking, radio announcer in Perth for many years.
    He wisecracked one morning - "They reckon you can't take it with you. I'm going to prove them wrong, I've bought a fireproof money belt! LOL

    6th Sep 2012
    12:58pm
    Of cause she wants people paid as if in a third world country particulaly as our mining industry and goverment behave as if we are one. We should be using are technology and intellect to turn our raw materials into valueable goods that we can sell at a premium but no we dig it up and ship it out. Then we buy some of it back as premium goods at a premium price some times even stuff concieved and designed buy Australians forced overseas because of lack of investment or interest. As long as we continue to behave like primative people giving away the dirt(minerals/land) and grass seeds(grain) for a pat on the head and a few trinkets others will increasingly take advantage.
    Huskie
    6th Sep 2012
    1:02pm
    Her Father will be turning in his grave. I met him years ago in WA and he was a very hard working man, slightly strange at times but a genuine person who would not support Gina and her ranting.
    He absolutely doted on her and this is the result of him treating her like a little Princess.
    Kevie from Buderim
    6th Sep 2012
    1:29pm
    Gina Rinehart says "Australia is uncompetitive" in terms of costs.
    Well, may I remind her that she is the richest woman in the world so it can't be uncompetitive in terms of profits...
    billatnewcastle
    6th Sep 2012
    1:44pm
    Mr & Mrs Lang Hancock would roll over in their graves if they saw and heard what they have produced in Gina. A selfish, self centred individual who would have been a nobody had she been born to an African $2.00 miner instead of the self-made Lang Hancock. She has no thought for anybody but herself and doesn't even respect her own children.
    Sylvia
    6th Sep 2012
    1:50pm
    To me it is sickening that any company can take the wealth of a country for profit for the few, it should be if they find the minerals they are allowed 50 years mining rights, after which it is returned to the country and for the benefit of all the people who live there.
    These days mining is not such a hit and miss venture, The Hancock family have had more than their monies worth.
    These minerals should be for the good of country, and wisely administrated. Times have changed,there has to be a fairer way.
    You never hear MsRinehart offering to give up some of her profit.
    Actual Cat
    7th Sep 2012
    3:54pm
    So true Sylvia - the minerals are the wealth of Australia, not of the mining companies owned by greedy individuals like Gina.
    billatnewcastle
    6th Sep 2012
    1:51pm
    Lets ask Tony NO and fat joe what their opinions are of what the selfish one said.
    wscifers
    6th Sep 2012
    1:58pm
    I thought Miz Gina was talking about how Australia's competitive advantage was slipping away and was being overtaken by countries where labour costs are less. Look what has happened to Australian manufacturing in clothing, footwear, electronics motorcar production. Even BHP has severely cut back{if not eliminated) steel production. How many more companies are closing down Australian operations in favour of off shore production?
    Maybe Gina is rich and so far all of the comments above seem to focus on her wealth and not on her ideas or what she has to say.
    Sure, Australia is in a better economic position than America and Europe. That is now. What will happen in 2013 and later? With companies continuing to go into receivership or move off shore, where does that leave the workers? Mining tax reduces the incentive for investors to finance new projects. Where will the soon to be unemployed find work? Can anyone tell me what new "Green" jobs have been created to take up the slack? Or will our kids be making coffee for each other, mowing each others' lawns and washing each outhers' cars.
    And to think we have these issues to ponder, all some people can focus on is Gina's wealth and her pearl necklace and decide she is awful to have an opinion.
    s
    motaleon
    6th Sep 2012
    5:00pm
    Spot on! If she took on all those challenging her to do her mining somewhere else, they would be squealing that they have no jobs. I wonder how many knockers actually work for her.
    walr
    7th Sep 2012
    9:55am
    If it wasn't for her and her ilk, who keep raising prices, for no reason other than profit, workers wouldn't have to seek wage rises in order to buy the stuff they sell, perhaps, as in the old days, there should be a limit on the profit they can make.
    That would keep wages and prices down.
    doclisa
    8th Sep 2012
    4:55pm
    good point about the concept of limiting profits. They would never let you introduce it as it goes against the grain of extreme capatialism that we work under now.
    There are potentially many green jobs to get. It involves r&d first. Australia was once at the fore front of this, however the subsidy was shifted to support miners and away from new industry. We could however still make our way again in the green or eco based industry. Mining of itself employs very few people in Australia and makes up very little of our GDP. Perhaps we need to focus and support the potential in other industries? Stop supporting coal and even up the balance for people to make choices. Mining and mining research has gigantic subsidies here in Australia with little outcome, and nothing that leads into growth industry on international scale. Perhaps those funds could be better used setting up new research in green technology and therefor jobs.
    slapsy
    6th Sep 2012
    2:19pm
    Could somebody tell me if Gina Rhinehardt is actually producing any iron ore at present.I don't think that she has ever dug any ore out of the ground other than samples.So is she really working as hard as she expects other Australians to work.I mean in a physical sense,not counting her money.
    walr
    7th Sep 2012
    9:57am
    have a look at her physical condition, that answers your question,slapsy.
    Never saw a diet that works as well as sensible meals, a few drinks after work,
    and a full day's manual labour.
    justme
    6th Sep 2012
    2:27pm
    I'm completely dismayed at the childlike standard of debate going on between our political "leaders" and our big business owners.
    It's pointless thinking they will grow up.
    The gap between the top and bottom income groups in this country is beyond the comprehension of most of them.
    Perhaps we should have a poll - name the pollies and business "leaders" we think are worth there pay.
    Smee
    6th Sep 2012
    3:51pm
    Well I'm shattered to read so much negative and apparently uninformed comments about Gina.
    Firstly, the article states 2 Million an hour. That's the company's income folks not the persons. This is the company that employs tens of thousands and pays millions back into the Australian economy.
    She has not advocated paying $2 an hour as some commentators would have you believe.
    Since Gina took over the company, the company has expanded it mining prospecting operations and expanded elsewhere. And yes, the company has extracted ore from the ground.
    Try going to Wikipedia and find out about this woman instead of jumping to conclusions on the say so of an innacurate and rather poorly written article.
    If this woman was our PM the country might not be so far in debt and the unions would not control who is pre-selected for nomination and hence policy decisions.
    Why are companies going into receivership and why are mining companies closing down expansion programmes? Not because of Gina. Ask the other high profile female Australian for that answer. You know, the one with no business sense; the one with a questionable legal background; the one who needs thousands of hand maidens to make her decisions for her.
    I suppose next she (Gina) will be critised for owning share in media outlets.
    She doesn't sit at home all day complaining how hard it is to get to Centre Link. She gets off her butt and actually does something.
    Sorry Choices, you got this one wrong.
    walr
    7th Sep 2012
    10:02am
    No, she sits at home all day working out how to rip off her kids. Are you asking us to believe that this isn't an attack on wages paid to Aust. workers
    Anonymous
    7th Sep 2012
    11:41am
    Smee - You conveniently neglected to mention that the tens of thousands that Ms Rinehart employs comprises 99% lawyers, who spend all their time clogging the courts handling Gina's vicious fights with her own children - her stepmother - her fathers partners - and her fathers partners families - over money.

    Rinehart employs very few people herself, and none of her companies have ever operated a working mine, nor ever produced a tonne of ore.

    Google "Rhodes Ridge" or go to the AustLii website and type in "Hancock", "Rinehart", "Hancock Royalties", "Wright" - and you will come across literally hundreds and hundreds of lawsuits, that involve nothing more than Gina fighting viciously over money - with the sole aim of exponentially increasing her own wealth and power.
    slapsy
    7th Sep 2012
    1:52pm
    Aaron
    It,s good to know that somebody else is up to date with what is really going on here.
    I wonder where this mine is that Smee talks about.
    Anonymous
    8th Sep 2012
    12:16am
    The only Iron Ore mine that Gina has ever owned, with the intention of working and producing Iron Ore, is the Roy Hill Mine (Roy Hill Iron Ore - RHIO).
    The RHIO company is 70% owned by Hancock Prospecting, and 30% owned by a consortium comprising, POSCO (the Sth Korean steelmaker), Marubeni Corporation, STX Corporation, and China Steel Corporation.
    Gina is pushing this project to try and show everyone she is a real miner, and not just an FOB royalty collector.

    The Roy Hill Mine project has commenced construction, and $1B out of a projected $9B has been spent. However, Gina is struggling with financing of the project, is struggling with costs, and is struggling to secure adequate buyers and an adequate price for her Iron Ore.

    She's trying to fulfill her Daddys dream of being a proper big-time, real miner - as her Dad always wanted to do - but he was never taken seriously by anyone with the money and nous to develop a mine.

    Gina is starting to feel the heat involved of being in the kitchen - instead of just sitting in the dining room, eating the food dished up to her on a plate. It will be interesting to see what happens when she realises that setting up, and operating a real working mine, takes real-life managerial skills - and one thing I can vouch for - her "people" skills such as negotiation and dealing with opposition are zilch.

    It's Gina's way or the Highway - and you're either a Gina-worshipping friend or a deadly enemy to be destroyed, as far as Gina is concerned.
    Her Dad taught her no negotiation skills, she has no empathy - and if you oppose her, she will fly into a rage and will use every opportunity to grind you to dust.
    These are not skills that make a person a good manager of large numbers of people, nor a skilful manager of the costs (and now, cost-cutting) involved in a large business operation.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/roy-hill-mine-secures-another-offtake-deal-in-china/story-e6frg9df-1226440714055
    doclisa
    8th Sep 2012
    5:01pm
    This is bullying behaviour. The references to our Prime Minister are slanderous, undefensible and nasty vilification.
    They are false statements and a part of a larger campaign of intimidation of women and politics that needs to be stopped in the every day use of language and references to our Prime Minister.

    6th Sep 2012
    4:38pm
    Whilst I think she has a point re the cost of doing business here today and of course the ever increasing red and in particular green tape, Australia slipping back is not the fault of those earning the minimum wage now is it? Get real Gina!

    Mine workers all over the world get a lot higher wages than other workers due to the boom, even in Africa. Car workers on the line get $95,000 pa here and business say not helping and maybe shut down Ford for example. Wage not heard of just a short few years ago in a factory. Makes the minimum wage look a bit like $2 a day in Africa where the cost of living would be a lot different and we are not being asked to send money for those people where they have the wealth of the mines.

    No not the minimum wage lowered at all.

    If anything the top end of town's salaries lowered maybe, and all to go onto PAYG and close the loopholes on tax more like it as these are all costed into prices of doing business as well as government having to borrow as not enough revenue to cover our outgoings from general revenue.

    Then maybe the cost of doing business will come down for all as well as for mining by getting rid of mining, RET tax and Carbon tax all of which are the real cause of the big rises in the cost of doing business.

    Minimum wage is the silliest excuse to date for cost of doing business - down there with the cry for a rise in the single dole, when we have what they are saying is full employment, so why are there still people not working and anyway not supposed to keep them in comfort is it.
    smithjj
    6th Sep 2012
    5:15pm
    Your blog on Gina's statement is typical of the deliberate distortion and misrepresentation of her meaning as similarly expressed by those two idiots Gillard and Swan.
    In short, as far as the mining industry is concerned; Button up Kaye -- you have no idea.
    Smee
    7th Sep 2012
    7:07am
    Looks like you and I had better sit down and have a drink together.
    Abe
    6th Sep 2012
    10:25pm
    I would like to know Gina's personal income AND how much tax she pays on it. I reckon most of her personal spending would come from an expense account so that her personal income stays untouched. Pity the ATO doesn't issue a list of incomes and taxes paid for all these rich buggers. They can easily find out what workers get and get slugged in tax, so why can't we be told?
    Anonymous
    7th Sep 2012
    11:45am
    Abe - Hancock Prospecting doesn't even hold its funds in any Australian bank, the bank they use, is the Bank of New Zealand.
    This would be only one of a myriad of corporate twists used to reduce Ginas income tax to a level that would make Kerry Packer blush - and we all know how much tax Kerry Packer paid, don't we?
    bluemoon
    7th Sep 2012
    7:56am
    Got to feel sorry for Gina she has no idea what it is like to be cold and hungry,she doesn't seem to be a very compassionate person.Greed is a sad state of affairs.she is obsesed
    with money,poor thing.does not buy happiness health or real love.
    Actual Cat
    7th Sep 2012
    4:03pm
    So true blue moon - it's great to live, love and be happy with an ordinary happy family. She's never going to have that, and that's all people ever want in the end.
    bluemoon
    7th Sep 2012
    7:56am
    Got to feel sorry for Gina she has no idea what it is like to be cold and hungry,she doesn't seem to be a very compassionate person.Greed is a sad state of affairs.she is obsesed
    with money,poor thing.does not buy happiness health or real love.
    Jackie
    7th Sep 2012
    10:23am
    The arrogance of this woman is astounding! She inherited a fabulous never-ending income stream by way of "royalties" from Rio Tinto who mine the stuff her father spotted from a plane once upon a time - what a fairytale !!! So even if she never lifted a finger in her life she would be extremely wealthy, and out of touch with reality. I find even her voice irritating and attitude so patronising, and what has she really achieved in her life? Ask her children (skip the one who hovers at her elbow, who was given a $1 million Rolls Royce as a reward. which she boasted about on Facebook) for whom she is also not only greedy and controlling but totally without scruple - secretly changing the trust deed her father left for them, so that they could not inherit anything til they were over 90 years of age !!!! Should have gone to JAIL !!!! The mind totally boggles and then we have to endure her telling us what to do in our own lives!!!!
    arbee75
    7th Sep 2012
    11:09am
    One would be pardoned to believe that the likes of Ms Reinhart et al
    actually manufactured the minerals that their companies mine and sell.

    The mineral wealth of this country like the Oil of the middle east etc was placed there by God or whatever, I believe the mining companies are being allowed to obtain too much of a return for the Iron Ore, Coal and so on..

    We the Australian people and government should in my view, wring every cent from the proceeds that we can and leave the magnates with
    the lowest percentage that is reasonable ( like the OPEC countries with
    their petroleum royalties) in short we are mugs !!

    arbee75
    wscifers
    7th Sep 2012
    11:15am
    Dearie me, the fear loathing and misrepresentation rages on unabated. The only thing that has not been mentioned is that Gina is accused of wanting to cut pensions to $2 per day!
    Now that would deserve all the condemnation and class/wealth hatred as espoused by several of the respondents. I regret that our editorial bloggers let their political bias spill over into their pronouncements and get the pensioners all worked up.
    Pass the Trankies, please. Or if anybody has hoarded some Bex, dig it out, have some tea and go for a nanna-nap.
    Nautilus
    7th Sep 2012
    11:40am
    The reaction to Ms Rinehart's address demonstrates why business leaders eschew opportunities to enter politics, or address the public. They do not have the hide of politicians and nor can they employ weasel words, even if they chose to do so. They are highly vulnerable and exposed in doing so, so why bother at all?

    There was a business celebrity who made his money from electronics who made his opinions known about population, sustainability and other issues. He was roundly castigated by the mob too at the encouragement of self-serving politicians, who prefer stereotypes and simplistic populism as easier to manage.

    Regardless of whether we agree with them or not, these are people who have the necessary wealth to make the decisions and investments that make a real difference. They rub shoulders daily with others like them and are in constant competition to innovate. Heavens, we might also concede that they can be thinking of good for their own country or humanity when they do it.

    There are some among us who would like to hear unrestrained comment from a host of others. But that is unlikely isn't it? The backroom manipulators of dead-headed political hacks must sit back and smile because it is so easy to manipulate a sizeable section of the into frothing, fuming, UNTHINKING fury.

    Anyway, I gained some insights from this business leader's address. So my time wasn't wasted at all. It would have been if I had approached it with a closed mind. Stopping to apply one's education helps. The fundamentals of it, nothing difficult.

    To those patient and caring teachers of yesteryear: know that your efforts were not in vain. Thanks.
    arbee75
    7th Sep 2012
    12:59pm
    It would seem that $35 billion is still not enough to buy beauty brains or
    empathy Gina !!

    arbee75
    AmandaR
    7th Sep 2012
    1:39pm
    I understand the sentiments of the many who have bagged Ms Rinehart's 10 minute speech. However, focussing on the $2/day comparison, I think people are missing the point. If the mining industry wants level playing field in an international market, then the way forward is NOT to reduce the Australian minimum wage, but rather to work with those countries who are exploiting the poor by paying them $2/day to undertake perilous work. Australian mining companies should invest some of heir money in those mines to improve safety and other work conditions including increasing salaries. At the moment, the world is outraged on behalf of those who earn $1/day. $2/day does not afford those African miners twice the quality of life. I get her point about South African's wanting to work, but I am damn sure they would like to be earning more than $2/day. They are poor and disenfranchised and this is what we should be outraged about.
    Grateful
    7th Sep 2012
    2:23pm
    Good points AmandaR. WE saw just weeks ago, over 30 South African workers killed for going on strike for better wages and conditions that had not changed for a generation of those miners. THEY are the "competition" that Gina Rinehart is suggesting are a threat to our mines. Sadly, there is no way that her message can be interpreted in any other way.
    She wasn't saying that WE should drop our wages to $2 per day in Australia, but, she made it very clear that she had no sympathy for those workers that are enslaved in South Africa and that is what let's her down VERY badly.
    But, if we look at the "un-competitiveness" of Australia by comparison to other countries, not as extreme as the $2 per day comparison, there is substance in that argument.
    I know of a small business that supplies the mining industry that started from very modest roots. It provides a necessary, yet simple, product that for years had been produced and manufactured by five other companies.
    Unlike all of his competitors, he did not drive a Mercedes, did not have a 50 square home, did not dine out every night and spoil his children with every modern device and exotic holidays. He plodded on and kept submitting quotations for the supply of this material and before long, all of those companies that used that material questioned him why his quotations were so much lower than his competitors.
    He said that he employed 12 people, was making a very reasonable profit, but, his profit margins turned out to be less than 25% of those of his competitors who had to feed their high living lifestyles.
    He now gets all of that work and has doubled his workforce. There IS a message in what Gina Rinehart has very clumsily stated, to not just individual humble workers, but, to those profit hungry businesses that pay their managements millions of dollars in bonuses and wages and all those perks that they give to their executive management teams.
    Let's not be like Gina Rinehart and let's look at the FULL PICTURE, including EMPLOYERS and fat cat executives in banks and other industries!!!
    Anonymous
    8th Sep 2012
    10:52am
    Amanda - An excellent article. However, the aim of extreme-right-wing capitalists is to continue to ensure that the workers are disenfranchised, so that they can indulge in "unjust enrichment".
    Typical of that attitude, is our national airline CEO who ensures he gets a $70M bonus, shortly before the airline records a loss, the first in its history.
    His management and people skills are so abysmal, he's running the airline into the ground, most of the airline employees and embittered and unhappy - and he's trying to ensure that all those employees either have their wages reduced to Asian sweatshop levels, or that they are all replaced with Asian employees who are prepared to work for much less, and under poorer employment conditions.
    We must guard against the robber barons who would ensure that the working conditions and wages we have worked hard to achieve, are not reduced to the levels of African and Asian workers, just so that robber barons can personally benefit.
    Their motives are not altruistic, nor are their motives in the nations interest - they are motivated by self-interest, and self-interest alone.

    7th Sep 2012
    2:47pm
    Reading the bulk of comments on here, spitting bile at one person, must make Wayne Swan so proud that he has stirred up a good old fashioned class war.
    The very few who have managed to read past the misquoted, and out of context '$2 per day', are to be commended.
    evilmonk
    7th Sep 2012
    3:11pm
    Gina Rine...witch is a prime example of the fact that money doesn't buy brains.

    Africans agree to work for $2 a day for many reasons - amongst those are their much lower cost of living, and the lack of income support - anyone would agree to a very low wage if it meant the difference between starving to death, or your children dying of preventable diseases.
    No comparison possible.
    They should stop giving her the publicity. She might start thinking her opinion matters.
    AmandaR
    7th Sep 2012
    3:20pm
    Don't mistaken low income with associated low cost of living. $2/day does not provide a basic standard of living - roof over their head, food on the table, clothing, education - let alone such luxuries as drinkable water, sanitation and electricity.
    Ecstatic Cyclist
    8th Sep 2012
    10:24am
    A roof over your head, food on the table, clothing and education are luxuries which Australia cannot afford if we are to remain competitive. Help us remain competitive by working longer, harder and paying for the privilege.
    Actual Cat
    7th Sep 2012
    4:19pm
    I wonder what those living in the vast belt across WA, NT and QLD think about her proposal for mining across the area. Or are they not consulted?
    toot2000
    7th Sep 2012
    4:20pm
    Ms Rinehart wants to establish a large economic zone in our north, stretching across northern Queensland, northern WA and the NT. Why? because the new zone would have fewer regulations and taxes. Barnaby Joyce is a good friend of Gina’s and he’s all for the idea but Tony Abbott doesn’t like it. Sounds like she wants to create a new state.

    7th Sep 2012
    7:44pm
    I find it unbelievable the hatred & bile thrown at this woman. I don't like her personally, but she is a brilliant business woman. As far as the critics are concerned, follow the old adage, "never let the facts interfere with a good story". Aaron, who should know better, states as irrefutable fact that Gina has tens of thousands of lawyers working for her. What unmitigated crap & totally untrue. I have read many ways that she has committed fraud & broken the Federal & State Crimes Acts, & not one of you know how she actually effected a change in her childrens' Trust Deed. According to public statistics, around 1/3 rd of you had CBA bank accounts when the Bank went public. You would have all been offered shares at around $5. If any of you loud mouthed critics had bought & held those shares, you would have made well over 200% on dividends & over 1,000% on capital gains & all your peers would be calling you names as well.
    Anonymous
    8th Sep 2012
    11:34am
    Innes, I could be a "brilliant business person", too, if my bank account was topped up annually with over $40M in FOB royalty payments, without me even getting out of bed!
    Show me the business that Gina has created from scratch and has built up in to a valuable asset!? There isn't one!
    That's why she's trying so hard to get the Roy Hill mine off the ground - to try and prove to naysayers, that she has business-operating skills!

    It is well known that Gina keeps a retinue of lawyers on retainer, and has launched several hundred legal actions that have resulted in lawyers income that runs into the hundreds of millions, not just tens of millions.
    It's a standing joke in Perth that if you're a lawyer, and Gina offers you work, you're set for life, such is her constantly litigious nature.

    An examination of the AustLii database of court actions, using "Rinehart" or "Hancock" as search terms, brings up hundreds of legal actions involving Gina Rinehart. She has tied up the court system for over the last 15 years.
    Nearly all these actions have been fights over money, apart from the ones where she sued journalists for putting articles in print that showed her in a less-than-rosy light.

    Her savagely-fought claim to 25% of the Rhodes Ridge deposit, against the Wright/Bennett clan, was totally rejected in 2010, and the court ruling reportedly sent Gina into an explosion of rage.
    She has launched another massive-cost appeal against the ruling, with little hope of winning - but the lawyers are loving it. This fight over money has been on-going for this particular claim, for over 11 years - and Gina will never cease in her endeavours to extract rights to this claim, until the day the highest court in the land prevents her from further appeals.

    As regards her childrens Trust Deed - yes, no-one knows how she changed the deed to extend control of the deed by her until 2068 - but it has already been proven in court that the children have a viable claim.
    That claim is yet to be settled, and even Gina admits that that particular lawsuit has been "a distraction" - and costly one at that, I'll wager.

    Yes, we did all get offered CBA shares at $5. Not all of us are share dealers, and not all of us had $50,000 to spare to buy 10,000 CBA shares. My personal experience of sharedealing is that the share market is no different to a racetrack, and the winners are the ones with inside knowledge.
    I have a relation by marriage who was a CBA bank manager, and he was retrenched shortly after the CBA privatisation. As compensation for retrenchment, he received $250,000 in cash and 50,000 CBA shares - as well as his super.
    The fact he owns 50,000 CBA shares doesn't make him any nicer a person, or improve his character. It just makes him a wealthier, nosey, selfish prick. Before he acquired the CBA shares, he was just a plain, nosey, selfish prick.

    I admire numerous people who possess large sums of money. I admire the founder of Dominos Pizzas, who after working hard all his life, sold Dominos for $65M, - kept $5M for himself (saying it was more than adequate to live on comfortably) - and who went on to invest the spare $60M into schools in poor Sth American countries.

    With huge wealth comes great responsibility to assist all those who are unable to get out of poverty - and to generally make other peoples lives better.
    Ginas narcissistic aim is to make other peoples lives miserable, so she can get even wealthier and more powerful.
    I don't hate her, I just despise her, for her "robber baron" mentality, and her pure selfish greed. If she was using her wealth to greatly improve others lives, then I would have much more time for her.
    gonebush
    8th Sep 2012
    7:16am
    That would be right true to form the rich get richer and the poor get poorer,of course she would want to lower the wage that means she would get richer all these mining barons are the same rape and plunder the earth get rich on the sweat of the workers ,thats why they are so against the mining tax eats into their profit margin and if one has to work in this industry its mostly in remote areas ,12 hour shifts ,shiftwork all going to increase production to feed their wallets one day when the boom is over they lay you off and they go overseas to spend their wealth ,get mad as hell over these mining magnets and their constant drive to fatten their wallets

    8th Sep 2012
    8:58am
    The trouble with your comments gonebush, is that you have not only not bothered to read any of the earlier posts, but you haven't got the faintest idea what you are raving on about. She gets her income from royalties paid mainly by BHP & Rio. She does not do any mining or employ any mining staff & the wages have no effect on her income whatsoever.
    Ecstatic Cyclist
    8th Sep 2012
    10:17am
    We should be gateful to Gina and pay her for the privilege of working for her. Get your pick and shovel and head west. We must become more competitive and beat those companies using illegal labour and those profiting from $2 a day Africans who want to work. I'm almost in tears thinking of poor Gina struggling with the rising costs of doing business. Remember as she said, "It's no longer a sign of self interest but a duty ...". When Tony becomes PM with Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones as his advisors then hopefully it will not be too late for Gina's concerns to be realised. I'd urge all pensioners to sent all their pension bar $14 per fortnight to help Gina remain competitive. Those able bodied pensioners should join me and head west. We need sustainable jobs and the best way to do this is to pay to work. We should increase working hours to 16 hours a day 7 days a week and do away with holidays. This leaves sufficient time to hunt for food and praise the Lord for allowing us to make Gina more competitive.
    dee
    8th Sep 2012
    3:40pm
    It's the mines themselves that choose to fly people in and out for high wages. The average wage in Australia barely pays the rent or the mortgage. We are a democracy and people do have some rights. I would like to see more mining tax paid. How dare Gina and others be given the right to rape and pillage our country so they can make ridiculous profit. I work at a very poor public school of immigrant children who would benefit from more money as per Gonski.
    bernieo
    9th Sep 2012
    1:30pm
    I've never know people to be sucked in so much by politicians and spin doctors. If Gina's comments were taken in the correct context.. she didn't say anything like Australian workers wages need to be reduced.. What she did say was that it is extremely difficult to compete against countries like Africa for instance who only pay their workers $2 an hour.
    Wake up people... we're being conned by Julia and Wayne's spin.
    Oldie84
    9th Sep 2012
    4:47pm
    Spot on. Finally someone with some sense.

    9th Sep 2012
    6:45pm
    It must be my English expression. Without mentioning the spin doctors bernieo, I have tried to say what you have said at least 5 times on here & been totally ignored. Congratulations.

    10th Sep 2012
    10:49am
    It is very interesting to read the majority of the critical post against Gina & to see how they are deliberately misread & misquoted. I note that 3 of the deadly sins are listed as "greed" but also "envy" & "covet" or avaricious grasping. It is conveniently ignored that she is not a miner & that her income from raping the earth is only exceeded by the people of Western Australia, who are happily receiving an identical royalty of 3 times hers. I not that not a single one of you critics has bothered to mention that she is a major philanthropic donor & a regular visitor to many Cambodian Girls orphanages as well as being the major supporter of The Hope Scholarship Awards program in Cambodia, & also a major player in SISHA, which fights human trafficking.
    scicdb3
    10th Sep 2012
    12:31pm
    Seems to me that the reason why Australian costs are higher than so many other places is that we care for our work force, requiring superannuation, environmental protection, proper education, health services and the protection of the courts.
    Rather than force Australia costs down and expose us to harm, we should seek ways to force up costs of overseas competitors, at least to a relative equivalence.
    bernieo
    10th Sep 2012
    3:19pm
    Well said innes.... and sciddb3 ... I bet these messages aren't even reaching the eyes and ears of those in the media who still get around with one ear and one eye closed. What a shame. But, then again, they're probably too biased and ignorant to see any point of view other than their own and avoid the truth at all costs.. How can we prove our point to vulnerable voters... Bring on an election and soon.

    10th Sep 2012
    3:44pm
    A well -worded analysis:
    "Let's repeat: Despite what the Prime Minister and the surplus-chasing but deficit-delivering Wayne Swan deceitfully claimed, Rinehart did not call for $2-a-day wages in Australia.

    Could any person with even the most tenuous connection with either the English language, the most basic comprehension or even the meanest honesty seriously believe that she would make such a suggestion?

    Indeed Rinehart did not even call for cuts to the $150,000-plus wages paid to workers in the Pilbara. More broadly, an honest reading of what she had to say and wrote shows a complete absence of wage cuts in her thesis.

    Her argument was all about the regulatory and tax burdens placed on Australian business generally and companies in the resources sector in particular.

    That these were crippling their ability to compete against producers in those countries where they did pay $2-a-day wages.

    Apart from the general plea for less red and green tape and a better tax regime, her specific proposed "solution" was an enterprise zone across northern Australia.

    Again, a zone that would not be built on lower wages -- unmentioned -- but less regulation and lower taxes."
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/julia-gillard-throws-caution-to-the-wind/story-e6frg9k6-1226467662185

    11th Sep 2012
    2:43pm
    If you are on a single aged pension & receiving around $375 P/W with supplement, you can go to a bank & have no trouble getting a credit card for $3,000. (repayment approx $15 P/W) If you spend that & make your payments for 12 months, you will have no trouble getting an increase to $5,000. ( repayment $25 P/W) That leaves you with $350 P/W when you were having trouble living on the original $375. Then the Government finds out that the Chinese iron ore & coal imports have been halved in value as well as halved in quantity & their actual income for Australia is reduced by 30% so they decide to reduce the aged pension by only 10% in order to not go bankrupt. You are left with $337.50 P/W & you are in very big shite. There will be no mining super tax this financial year. Stop & think about it just a little then read what Gina said again. We are in a currently worse off than Greece was 12 months ago.
    Twila
    11th Sep 2012
    10:52pm
    The reason Rinehart is importing of Indian workers is to use non-union labour (obviously).

    I understand that Hancock had another child, born to an indigenous woman. If this is factual, I hope that she is benefitting in some way too from this wealth. I doubt it.

    12th Sep 2012
    5:14am
    Where did you get this information from? Or is this just designed as a push poll rumour to start more hatred? If Lang Hancock had another child, there would be a million solicitors offering to challenge the estate, successfully, at the total cost to the estate, under Australian Law. I believe that the perpetrator of this type of rumour, if proven to be malicious & untrue, should be charged under the crimes act.
    Taskid
    12th Sep 2012
    1:57pm
    This woman does exist, I have seen her interviewed on tv. She is not interested in the Hancock wealth unlike Gina, not greedy I guess.
    Twila
    12th Sep 2012
    12:23pm
    I heard about the child many, many years ago. The woman said that she wasn't interested in Hancock's money.

    Now
    http://www.news.com.au/national-old/meet-the-other-family-of-australias-richest-person/story-e6frfkvr-1226270208099

    also check wikipedia.

    From your response you undoubtedly believe such an event would be deeply reprehensible. Presumably you would condemn Hancock. Not the great man you thought!

    Do you think that Hancock was different to many other young men of his time?

    Unlike you, I couldn't care less, other than I hope the woman and her child have some benefits and are not living in poverty.
    toot2000
    12th Sep 2012
    12:49pm
    Wouldn't be surprised if old Hancock had kids all over the country, the randy old git. Rosie must have been very good in the cot for the silly old bastard to marry her. She used to clean his toilet and make his bed, but was clever enough to end up in it.

    12th Sep 2012
    12:54pm
    If you couldn't care less Twila, why did you raise the subject? I have no specific opinion about Hancock as he is of no real interest to me, other than his judgement in marrying a cleaner with a very questionable work history.
    Twila
    12th Sep 2012
    5:26pm
    With all this discussion about the Hancock money, etc. it would be fair that his other child benefits. I believe that a real man, especially with the wherewithall of Hancock, takes responsibility for the welfare of his children, whether born in wedlock or not. There should be no difference. This responsibilty adds a dimension to the Hancock wealth. Principle is involved.

    Why should his judgment in marrying a cleaner be of any interest to you? It didn't apparently affect his judgment in other ways? She obviously provided value for dollar - isn't that what a businessman like Hancock would want.
    Kwacha
    12th Sep 2012
    5:29pm
    This is not in support of Gina, but we are an expensive country, even our vegetables and fruit are more expensive than most places in the world. This is because of our minimum wages. Research shows whilst we earn more in Australia we actually have less spare cash than many Western countries on a lower wage. Our flights, travel, food, restaurants, you name it..we pay more. everytime we increase wages the more the end product costs, it's a never ending circle, the only one who is happy is the taxman..he scores not only from the wage increase but also the higher product price.. Because of our high cost of living many families are battling to make end meets, our pensioners are having a raw deal with funding being reduced for aged care etc. aged services always being the first to be cut. We are told the government has no funding, yet, they can increase financial budgets for refugee and asylum funding, foreign aid and so forth. The retiree is no longer a potential tax earner so he is delegated to the bottom of the food chain. Let's put our energies into supporting a Seniors party to look after our interests, we have huge voting power representing a large portion of the population. Only when we unite and stand together will we have a voice which will be heard.


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles