Gina Rinehart loses court suppression bidOn 01/31/2019 by admin
Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has lost her bid to keep secret details of her two estranged children’s latest court challenge.
In the latest legal stoush to embroil the Rinehart family, John Hancock and his sister Bianca have launched Federal Court proceedings against their mother’s company, Hancock Prospecting.
Ms Rinehart and her company had sought to extend an interim suppression order on the full details of their claim, saying if aired there was a “real risk of commercial harm” to mining projects such as the multibillion-dollar Roy Hill.
The project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region is to start exporting in 2015.
But Justice Peter Jacobson rejected her application on Wednesday, saying the substance of the allegations were already in the public domain and there was a public interest in open justice.
Justice Jacobson described the battle as the “latest iteration of a bitter and long-running dispute” between Ms Rinehart and her two children into her administration of the $5 billion family trust, of which they are beneficiaries.
Like the ongoing Supreme Court proceedings between the children and their mother, Justice Jacobson said the dispute includes allegations of serious breaches of fiduciary duty by the mining magnate in her capacity as trustee.
But now, the children are also seeking profits and are hoping to set aside the so-called Hope Downs Deed due to allegations of misleading conduct by Ms Rinehart and her company.
The Hope Down Deed contains, among other things, an agreement to refer disputes under this deed to confidential arbitration.
In handing down his decision, Justice Jacobson dismissed Ms Rinehart’s claim that her two children were using the proceedings for a purpose “tantamount to blackmail”, by using publicity to put pressure on her.
He said much of the “long and sorry history of this litigation” was already in the public domain and that the public interest in open justice must be taken into account.
“I feel parents everywhere cringe at this scene, watching extremely privileged children suing to get even more money unearned by them, after their mother’s lifetime of hard work,” a spokesman for Hancock Prospecting said in a statement after the decision was handed down.