The richest 200 Australians increased their wealth by $11.9 billion to a record $83.4 billion in the past year, according to BRW magazine’s annual rich list, released at 3pm today.
The Rich 200 list includes 17 billionaires, six more than last year.
Kerry Packer increased his wealth by $400 million to top the list with a $6.9 billion fortune.
Frank Lowy’s wealth grew faster – he added another $600 million to his savings account, or the equivalent of $1.7 million a day. But the shopping centre magnate remained in second place with $4.2 billion.
In third place, cardboard king Richard Pratt added $500 million to wealth.
Gerry Harvey, the face of retail chain Harvey Norman, was a relative loser in 12th place. Harvey’s wealth fell from $1.14 billion to $1.1 billion. His ex-wife Lynette Harvey was valued at $140 million, down from $154 million in 2004, and his former business partner Ian Norman dropped $47 million to $465 million.
A BRW Rich 200 debutante, Brisbane retailer and property investor John Van Lieshout, became the list’s newest billionaire with a fortune of $1 billion.
The 59-year-old founder of Super A-Mart has spent the past 34 years building his empire in relative obscurity.
- The minimum bank balance required for entry to the list is $110 million. There are 21 new entrants this year.
- New entrants to the BRW Rich 200 include former John Elliott Elders senior executive Geoff Lord ($115 million), software maker George Koukis ($126 million) and 38-year-old Queensland property developer Craig Gore ($160 million). Wizard Home Loans founder Mark Bouris returned to the list at 190 ($120 million).
- Gina Rinehart, daughter of the late mining magnate Lang Hancock, remains Australia’s richest woman. Her wealth increased by 125 per cent to $900 million, cementing her in 20th place. [b]Actor Nicole Kidman – who now earns $15 million per movie – ranked 136th with a fortune of $190 million[/b]. There are only 11 women on the list, a steady decrease from 13 in 2004, 14 in 2003 and 17 in 2002.
- The Smorgon family from Victoria have topped the list of 45 families whose wealth is greater than $110 million.