She could buy two iPads for each of her fellow 22.9 million Australians, or eliminate world hunger for a year. If that should not appeal, she could play her own game of Monopoly with all the mansions in the nation’s most expensive address, Wolseley Road, Point Piper.
Gina Rinehart has just become the richest woman in the world – and Australia’s wealthiest person – with the BRW Rich 200 list estimating her wealth has nearly tripled in the past year to $29.17 billion.
She roared past Christy Walton, a widow with a large stake in the US retail giant Wal-Mart, who is reputedly worth $25 billion.
It was only 20 years ago that Ms Rinehart debuted on the list with a relatively paltry $75 million, after the death of her father, Lang Hancock. Apart from the West Australian billionairess, whose estimated fortune rose from $10.3 billion to its current peak, most list veterans had a difficult year, with 104 losing money.
With an estimated fortune of $675 million, Canberra airport owner Terry Snow has again been confirmed as the richest person in the ACT.
BRW Rich 200 list editor Andrew Heathcote said the uncertainty of the times was perhaps reflected in the fact that the cut-off for eligibility in the list dropped $5 million to $210 million this year.
South African-born commodities trader Ivan Glasenberg retained second spot, behind Ms Rinehart, although his wealth dropped to $7.4 billion from $8.8 billion.
Property mogul Frank Lowy climbed to third place with $6.47 billion.
WA miner Andrew Forrest fell from third to fourth, as his wealth shrank slightly to $5.89 billion.
The Victorian manufacturer and property developer Anthony Pratt and family fell from fourth to fifth.
Therese Rein, the wife of the former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd, is now worth an estimated $210 million.