Rich list shifts around

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

IT’S BEEN a fas­ci­nat­ing year it has been for the shift­ing for­tunes of the Queens­land’s wealth­i­est in­di­vid­u­als, cou­ples and fam­i­lies.

The twin-speed per­for­mance is again very ap­par­ent in the chang­ing wealth of those on this year’s list. But the pat­tern has been turned on its head. With prices for re­sources div­ing, it is the big min­ers and oth­ers who rely on the in­dus­try whose for­tunes have gone rapidly into re­verse while some in other sec­tors have seen their wealth lev­els soar.

The scale of the turn­around is ev­i­dent in the fact that just three min­ing mag­nates - Clive Palmer, Chris Wallin and Sam Chong - have shed nearly $3.5 bil­lion from their com­bined es­ti­mated net worth over the past year.

Over­all, the to­tal wealth of the Top 150 is vir­tu­ally un­changed - up by just $7 mil­lion to $ 39.65 bil­lion. But re­move those three min­ers from the equa­tion and a very dif­fer­ent pic­ture emerges. The com­bined wealth of the other 147 en­trants has surged by $ 3.49 bil­lion. That is an in­crease of 10.9 per cent - nearly five times the CPI rate.

Some of the big­gest rises have been recorded by peo­ple whose wealth is de­rived largely from stakes in pub­licly listed com­pa­nies, led by Su­per Re­tail Group founders Reg and Hazel Rowe, whose net worth climbed a mas­sive 74 per cent, mak­ing the cou­ple one of two new bil­lion­aires on this year’s list.

Flight Cen­tre co-founder Gra­ham Turner and his wife Jude jump 12 spots to No.11 as their for­tune climbed by $330 mil­lion (83 per cent) thanks to the per­for­mance of the travel com­pany’s shares.

But even that was bet­tered by fel­low travel in­dus­try en­tre­pre­neur Jamie Ph­er­ous, who more than dou­bled his money in a year as the value of stock in Cor­po­rate Travel Man­age­ment con­tin­ued its stel­lar rise since float­ing in 2010.

It might seem coun­ter­in­tu­itive that, amid gloomy talk on the econ­omy, 82 on our list in­creased their wealth. As Mr Ph­er­ous says: ‘‘ Good busi­nesses tend to thrive in good and bad times.’’

That said, plenty of peo­ple who made money over the past year told us they were pre­par­ing for more chal­leng­ing con­di­tions over the com­ing 12 months.

Some 36 en­trants saw their wealth shrink and six recorded no change. There are 22 new in­clu­sions and one mak­ing a re­turn to the list.

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