Rinehart family feud to be made public

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While the details of her family trust battle would be embarrassing, iron ore heiress Gina Rinehart has no right to suppress them, the NSW Court of Appeal has ruled.

Rinehart had previously argued the details of the family’s case should be confidential because they would expose the family to financial loss.

But in their judgement Chief Justice Tom Bathurst, Justice Ruth McColl, and Justice Margaret Beazley said there was “no evidence” to support the claim.

The case against Rinehart centres on control of the multi-billion dollar family trust set up by Lang Hancock before he died.

Three of Rinehart’s children, Hope Welker, John Hancock and Bianca Rinehart, are trying to oust Rinehart as trustee.

The action was launched late last year and Rinehart has been attempting to suppress its details from the beginning.

Last week Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting agreed to sell 15 per cent of the Pilbara-based Roy Hill project to South Korean steel giant Posco.

Posco valued the stake at $1.6 billion, which in turn almost doubled Rinehart’s wealth from the estimated $10.3 billion in 2011 to $20 billion.

The deal took Posco’s stake in Roy Hill from 3.8 per cent to 15 per cent, and takes Rinehart close to overtaking the world’s richest woman, American Wal-mart heiress Christy Walton, who is worth $24.5 billion.

Image: The Sydney Morning Herald

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