Meet Queensland's richest people.

Worth billions and living in homes the rest of us can only dream of, the Richest 250 list dives into their lives to find the secret to their success.

This year there are 11 Queensland billionaires amongst the list with Clive Palmer taking out top spot as his fortune climbed to a record $9.76bn.

SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM FOR A FULL LIST OF QLD'S 11 BILLIONAIRES

It is a huge number and means Palmer, who collects hundreds of millions in royalties from a controversial iron ore deal with Chinese firm CITIC Pacific, is more than three times richer than the next wealthiest Queenslander, property magnate John van Lieshout.


Clive Palmer

Court cases, controversy, politics and iron ore royalties. Life is rarely dull for the richest Queenslander.

Palmer is never far from the headlines, including stoushes with the Western Australian government, the Electoral Commission of Queensland and liquidators pursuing him regarding Queensland Nickel.

Not only did Clive Palmer top Queensland’s rich list but he doubled his wealth.
Not only did Clive Palmer top Queensland’s rich list but he doubled his wealth.

But Palmer's iron ore royalties means he gets more annual income than almost any other Australian, which has allowed him to splash out on dozens of Gold Coast properties and other trappings of wealth such as a $13m luxury superyacht he bought from Larry Kestelman in 2019.

It all adds up to record $9.76bn fortune, ranking him near the top of the 2021 edition of The List - Australia's Richest 250, published in a special issue of The Weekend Australian on Saturday.

John van Lieshout

Second to Palmer on the ranks of the richest Queenslanders is John van Lieshout, the property magnate who founded the Super A-Mart chain of furniture stores.

Van Lieshout sold Super A-Mart to private equity in 2005 but has more than $1bn worth of commercial property, many under the banner of his JVL Investment Group, and also has the development firm Unison Projects. His wealth is estimated at $2.45bn.

John Van Lieshout made his fortune through furniture chain Super A-Mart. Picture: Mark Calleja
John Van Lieshout made his fortune through furniture chain Super A-Mart. Picture: Mark Calleja


Bruce Mathieson

Mermaid Beach resident Bruce Mathieson is the next richest Queenslander with a $2.05bn fortune.

Mathieson is a long-time pub and pokies baron who heads the ALH Group, which is part of the joint venture Endeavour Group business with Woolworths.

The groceries giant has a plan to spin off Endeavour, which includes bottle shops, hotels and drive-through liquor outlets, into its own ASX-listed business by the end of June, and Mathieson would emerge with a stake worth at least $1.35bn. But private equity suitors are circling and could make his shareholding worth even more.

Australia’s pubs and booze supremo, billionaire Bruce Mathieson, came in at fourth. Picture: Russell Shakespeare
Australia’s pubs and booze supremo, billionaire Bruce Mathieson, came in at fourth. Picture: Russell Shakespeare


Jack Lin

The top five richest Queenslanders are rounded out by Jack Lin and his father-in-law Gordon Fu, who have a shopping centre fortune worth a combined $1.79bn.

Most of their centres are in Queensland's south-east, including Australia Fair on the Gold Coast and Brisbane's Toowong Village.

SUCCESS IN THE TIME OF COVID

The overall wealth of Australia's richest 250 individuals and family groups rose from $377 billion this time last year to $470 billion today.

In the ultra-elite top five, who are all worth more than $20 billion, the biggest slip was Anthony Pratt and family, whose fortune is founded on the Visy packaging empire. It was an excellent year for cardboard (remember all those boxes the postie was slinging over your front fence?) which meant the Pratts' wealth grew by around $5 billion _ but that wasn't enough to keep the Pratts in the coveted top spot.

The Pratts, who today are worth $21.27 billion, slipped from first in 2020 to fifth place because of the breathtaking growth in wealth by the other multi-billionaires.

Leading the charge was mining tycoon Gina Rinehart, who grew her wealth from $16.25b in 2020 to $36.28b today and is now in the number one position.

Rinehart can thank the booming iron ore price (fuelled by China's steelmaking roaring back to life after the initial outbreak), and so can fellow mining magnate Andrew Forrest, in second place with a total wealth of $29.61b (up from $7.43b in 2020).

In third and fourth places are Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar are next at $21.99b and $21.95b respectively, each having grown his wealth by more than $9 billion in a year.

QUEENSLAND BILLIONAIRES

1. Clive Palmer $9.76b

2. John van Lieshout $2.45b

3. Bruce Mathieson $2.05b

4. Chris Wallin $1.92b

5. Jack Lin and Gordon Fu $1.79b

6. Maha Sinnathamby $1.68b

7. John Richards & family $1.24b

8. Reg Rowe $1.22b

9. Brian Flannery $1.09b

10. Sam Chong $1.04b

11. Denis Wagner & family $1.01b

The full 2021 edition of The List - Australia's Richest 250 is published Saturday in The Weekend Australian and at www.theaustralian.com.au/rich250

Originally published as Rich list: QLD's billionaires revealed



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