Gina Rinehart Suggests Lowering Minimum Wage of $606.40 per Week

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By Vittorio Hernandez | August 30, 2012 10:46 AM EST

Controversy continues to hound Gina Rinehart, Australia's richest woman, due to a column she wrote for the Australian Resources and Investment magazine where she suggested lowering the minimum wage of $606.40 a week.

She also pushed for more tax cuts to boost employment and urged workers to cut down on drinking, smoking and socialising in the same article.

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek criticised the mining magnate for her column which she said is an out-of-line attack on people earning low wages. The column is seen as counteroffensive on the class warfare waged by the Australian government on the country's billionaires who are mostly in the mining industry.

"If you are jealous of those with more money, don't just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money for yourself - spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working," wrote Ms Rinehart who insisted there is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire.

"I think it's pretty easy for Gina Rinehart to say that people on the minimum wage should get paid less . . . I think she should try living on the minimum wage," Ms Pilbersek was quoted by Seven network.

Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon pointed out that Ms Rinehart, now the world's wealthiest woman, is not a self-made billionaire but actually inherited in 1992 her money from her father Lang Hancock who built a $20-billion mining empire from mining tenements.

Comments about Ms Rinehart's column also were critical of the mining tycoon.

"Easy for Gina Rinehart to tell whingers to get out of the pub when you're reportedly making $1m every 30 mins," News.com.au quoted the tweet of Anita Jacoby.

"I heart Gina Rinehart suggesting minimum wages be reduced. $2,000,000 per day obviously isn't cutting it for her," added tweeter BBG.

Setting aside the perception that she is anti-poor, Ms Rinehart pointed out in her column that business owners like her are the ones helping those in the lower income bracket by creating jobs through their investments.

Besides her columns which often generate media controversy, Ms Rinehart is also locked in a bitter family court feud with her three estranged adult children over control of a foundation set up by Mr Hancock for his grandchildren.

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