Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart says her father Lang Hancock devoted his life to owning an iron ore mine and laments that she believed her family would be happy once she finally achieved that aim.
Amid continued bitter legal battles with her two eldest children, Mrs Rinehart has given a rare media interview to the ABC’s Australian Story in which she says her father’s contribution was not fully recognised.
Mr Hancock discovered the massive Hamersley iron ore deposits in Western Australia’s Pilbara and Mrs Rinehart said minority partner Kaiser Steel had said that without Lang Hancock there would be no Hamersley Iron.
“Does that mean he was honoured in government, the media, others? Of course not,” Mrs Rinehart said.
Mrs Rinehart said her father was always trying to do that little bit more to move from being someone who received royalties from iron ore to a part-owner.
“He just kept working through his adult life to try to build up towards, you know, being able to be an owner operator,” she said.
“He actually got his money, dumped it in holes in the ground and that’s what he did.”
Monday night’s first instalment mainly dealt with the early days of the Hancock dynasty, with the second looking at the legal battles, including a protracted dispute between Mrs Rinehart and Mr Hancock’s second wife Rose Porteous.
It comes before Hancock Prospecting’s $13 billion Roy Hill mine delivers its first iron ore later this year.
“I really felt when we’d got our first mine up and happening the family should be happy,” Mrs Rinehart said in a promo for next Monday’s program.
The profile presents another side of Mrs Rinehart, whom a NSW judge in May said had used tactics bordering on intimidation in the fight for control of the $5 billion family trust that he handed to eldest daughter Bianca Rinehart.
According to The Australian, lawyers for Bianca Rinehart and John Hancock have written to the ABC claiming the program is a public relations exercise about their mother.
The two have taken Federal Court action against their mother and Hancock Prospecting, in which they are seeking profits from the company’s iron ore projects.
Mrs Rinehart said of the legal battles: “This is not the sort of thing Dad would be thrilled with.”