Australia’s 50 Richest 2023: Combined Wealth Surges To $213 Billion As A Dozen New Faces Join The List

The Australian economy benefited from the country’s post-pandemic reopening but in the past year inflation rocketed to 7.8%, the highest in three decades. The rise was largely driven by higher prices of new homes, increased costs of transport and long-deferred holidays. The combined wealth of the country’s 50 richest swelled to $213 billion, a hefty 70% jump from 2019 when we last published the list.

Miners continue to dominate the top ranks despite several years of tech tycoons nipping at their heels. Amid fluctuating iron ore prices, Gina Rinehart maintains her position as the country’s richest person with a $30.6 billion fortune. At No. 2 is mining magnate Andrew Twiggy” Forrest, who’s betting big on renewable energy, and has an estimated fortune of $21.7 billion.

In the third spot, with a net worth of $15.5 billion, is property developer Harry Triguboff, who’s set to celebrate a double milestone this year: his 90th birthday and the 60th anniversary of his company, Meriton.

A tech decline took the sheen off software firm Atlassian’s once-lofty valuation but founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar remain in the top 10. WiseTech Global, which helps logistics companies manage their supply chains, bucked that trend with its shares rising 20% in the past 12 months, propelling founder Richard White to No. 10 with $5.4 billion.

Despite challenges, the tech sector accounts for five of the dozen new faces this year: Husband and wife Cliff Obrecht and Melanie Perkinswho cofounded design firm Canva, enter the list at No.8 with a combined net worth of $7.2 billion, along with the third cofounder Cameron Adams at No.29 with $1.8 billion. Anthony Hall and Sam Hupert, cofounders of medical imaging software company Pro Medicus also make their debut.

Miners Chris Ellison, who draws his wealth from listed Mineral Resources and Mark Creasy, one of the country’s most successful prospectorsappear on the list for the first time at No. 33 and No. 48, respectively. Other new faces include Jack Gance and Marco Verrocchi, cofounders of the Chemist Warehouse pharmacy chain, which is poised for an IPO.

In the past year billionaires have been competing against each other with an intensity not seen since the 1980s and 1990s as the federal and state governments prepare the economy for decarbonization. Rinehart, media mogul Kerry Stokes and Ellison were in a bidding race for gas producer Warrego Energy, which Rinehart eventually clinched. Forrest and Cannon-Brookes, who jointly invested in Sun Cable, which aims to connect Singapore to green energy produced in Australia, have been at loggerheads over it and it’s now up for sale.

The cut-off to make the list increased to $960 million and 11 from the last round dropped off. Billionaire businessman and horse breeder David Hains died in January at age 92 leaving behind a $1.95 billion fortune, which is now listed under his family.

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