Rich List 2017 reveals Australia has more billionaires than ever

Rich List 2017 reveals Australia has more billionaires than ever - but who is ag's richest?

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Find out the who's who on agriculture's rich list.

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Australia has more billionaires than ever before and Anthony Pratt tops the Financial Review Rich List with $12.60 billion.

Pratt’s Visy cardboard box manufacturing and recycling business dominates Australia, but his rising wealth is mainly due to the huge growth of Pratt Industries in the United States.

There were 60 billionaires on this year’s list, the most there have ever been in the list’s 34-year history and three names are above the $10 billion mark. 

There are 22 women on the 2017 Financial Review Rich List and eight female billionaires. 

The full list has been unveiled by Fairfax Media owned the Australian Financial Review

Harry Triguboff is number 2 on the list with wealth of $11.45 billion. Although apartment development tycoon Triguboff falls from number 1, his wealth is a record figure.

Gina Rinehart is number 3 with wealth of $10.41 billion, up from $6.06 billion last year as commodity prices improve.

Frank Lowy is number 4 on the list with $8.26 billion wealth.

Glencore boss Ivan Glasenberg is number 5 with $6.85 billion wealth.

Total wealth of the Rich List is up to $233.1 billion, from $197.3 billion last year.

The average wealth per person on the Rich List rises to a record $1.16 billion, up from $987 million last year.

There are 10 new names on the list this year and departures from the Rich List include the late James Fairfax and Michael Crouch.

The 2017 Rich List’s highest ranked debutant is Tim Roberts, son of the late Multiplex founder John Roberts. Tim Roberts, aged 46, debuts at number 62 with wealth of $986 million.

Property remains the dominant sector on this year’s list. Of the 200 people on the list, 58 make most of their money in the property sector. Many on the list that have made money in other industries have poured their proceeds into property development or management businesses.

Agriculture’s who’s who on the Rich List

So who are agriculture’s leading names on the list? 

Here’s a quick summary:

Don’t recognise all the names? Here’s a quick look at some of the stars and what they did to get there:

Gina Rinehart

It’s been a massive year for mining magnate Gina Rinehart who this year pumped $386.5 million to buy the S. Kidman & Co cattle empire. The empire spans 100,000 square kilometres of pastoral leases – about 1.3 per cent of Australia's total land area and 2.5 per cent of the country's agricultural land. Rinehart is now one of the top three beef producers in Australia with the combined herd reaching 300,000 head.

Twiggy Forrest

Billionaire Andrew Forrest's agricultural venture, Harvey Industries Group, which owns the largest beef processor in Western Australia, has made a healthy $3.1 million profit in the last financial year.

Mr Forrest's overarching agricultural group Minderoo owns 1.2 million hectares of grazing land in Western Australia and added another 500,000 hectares in 2015 from the purchase of two stations, Brickhouse and Minilya, near Carnarvon.

Brett Blundy

Retail and property investor Brett Blundy has an interest in 1.4 million hectares. His rural investments include multiple major stations in the Northern Territory’s Barkley Tablelands, most notably including Amungee Mungee which he bought from the Australian Agricultural Company in 2014 and Walhallow at Tennant Creek which he bought from Paraway Pastoral in 2015 for $100 million.

Chris Thomas

Mr Thomas is the fo-founder of the family owned Thomas Foods International company - one of the largest exporters of Australian lamb and mutton. The business began in 1998 and now has annual revenue well in excess of $1 billion.

Sandy Oatley  

Son of the late Bob Oatley, Sandy is the eldest of three siblings who steer the family’s investments. Their businesses include Hamilton Island Enterprises, Robert Oatley Vineyards in Mudgee, Edinglassie Stud in the Hunter Valley, as well as a series of nursing homes and properties, including the offices of the family company, Balmoral Operations, in St Leonards in Sydney.  

John Kahlbetzer

Kahlbetzer's Twynam Agricultural Group owns 50,000 hectares of rural properties in the Riverina and Southern Highlands and also has big holdings in Argentina.

Frank Costa

Mr Costa heads the fruit and vegetable giant, Costa Group, which he and his brother Adrian founded at their parents' Geelong grocery in 1959.

Allan Myers

In April last year Australia's most prominent barrister sold a half share in his cattle station operation the Tipperary Group of Stations in the Northern Territory for $49 million to a group of local and offshore investors. He keeps busy as the chancellor of Melbourne University.

The story Rich List 2017 reveals Australia has more billionaires than ever first appeared on The Land.

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