A love affair with our North
Lovable, unlovable, rich, useless, red, green, wet, dry, arid, fertile, burnt, flooded, heartbreaking, delightful, eternal, hot and ours. That is Australia’s North.
The North is of course also where Gina Rinehart and her family, led by her pioneering father Lang, spawned a world-leading iron industry benefitting a great many people – not least of whom have been the shareholders of Rio Tinto – through the great Hamersley success, and the many consumers around the world who eagerly trade a tonne of quality Hancock Prospecting iron ore for the price they pay.
Through reading this book, you are offered an intimate view of the values and history from within the family behind the success. You will notice the contrast between what you read here and the picture of this visionary family painted in the Australian media.
Australia’s North could be an entire subject in every school, so vast is its history and its potential. But so few are its people, it poorly represented in our ‘leadership’ in Canberra as it is in our schools, with very few MPs hailing from the North.
As Gina Rinehart’s book is launched, our national capital seems like a sordid boarding school where the political towel whipping in the corridors commands far more attention than nation building our great North – or anything at all.
The great Labor/Swan era of pointing the bone at mining, and of fiscal binging, will be long remembered as a grim signature of the year this book was born. But by the time the book reaches its first birthday, we pray it will be over, and it will be time to nation build once again.
The world looks to us to develop the North, to make it a food bowl and an enduring supplier of its mineral materials.
As you read, look back, and look ahead, and look to the promise of the North. We have bigger markets, more potential and better tools. So if ever there was a perfect moment to have a crack at it, it is now.
Take a walk on the wild side and go there! Feel the North, feel the energy of its people, imagine a special economic tax zone where your kids will be hanging out to go and make their first million. Dream, and connect with the other half of your continent. This book is your invitation.
Chairman of the Sydney Mining Club