I want to say this to Gina Rinehart and others who continue to ply this 'tirade of entitlement'. First up, Ms Rinehart, my grandfather knew your father, quite well I believe, and although he did not particularly like the man, I'm told he held him in some regard as someone who had a vision and the balls to solicit substantial government assistance to realise it. I know this because the relationship between the two men was of entrepreneur and government minister responsible. They talked often.
So you need to be aware, Ms Rinehart, that you are the beneficiary of that government largesse that enabled your father and his partner, Peter Wright, to explore and develop and establish relationships that resulted in substantial personal wealth, and modest state wealth. Without it, you would very likely not be in the position of undue influence that you enjoy today. That largesse means that you received the benefit of entitlement, but it doesn't mean you are someone who is any position to dictate what entitlements should be given in a world sixty years on.
Your father, my father, our grandfathers, the fathers of many millions of other Australians and the handful of people who will read this post, all paid taxes. They didn't pay taxes to build a system to enable you to steal labour from Australian workers, or royalties from Australian mineral owners, or the future transport system from our children ... they paid taxes because they wanted to be members of the Australian society, to invest in a future that would be richer than their own in ways well beyond simple fiscal returns.
Our fathers (collectively) paid taxes to invest in our roads and highways, our wharves and seaways, our rail and commuter systems, our scientific and medical superstructures, our internet and telephony, our airlines and space sciences. They invested so we, and our children could reap the benefits of those investments. They didn't invest so that we could allow those fine establishments go to wrack and ruin because you believe you are entitled to keep and multiply the wealth you inherited without contributing your proportionate share. It is your belief in entitlement that is the problem here.
My guess is you are a member of a private club or two, where you can rub shoulders with the elite and powerful and discuss how badly done by you are by workers who want to be paid for the risks they take, the charity seekers who want a donation to fight homelessness, the common people who believe they are also entitled to reap the benefits of their fathers' wise investments. My guess is you have to pay to be a member of those exclusive clubs so that all the things built by those who came before you can be maintained and kept at the standards you and others of your ilk expect. These are the dues you pay. Well, guess what? the dues you pay to be a member of 'Club Australia' is your fair share of tax, not the espousal of your beliefs in your entitlement to be here and lord it over others.
The point is, there is no such thing as a 'self made man'. Every successful businessman or entrepreneur has used the not inconsiderable Australian infrastructure, built by our collective fathers, paid for by the taxpayers, to make his money. Every one. Not one successfully rich businessman made his money alone - not Rupert Murdoch, Not Kerry Packer, certainly not Lang Hancock - he did it with the assistance of the taxpayer-built infrastructure, getting rich on what others did before and alongside him. Don't think for one minute that men like your father alone, out of their own enterprise, built the banking system, the treasury, the departments of trade and industry that facilitate the sale and trade of resources, the judicial system that protects your deals (and allows your own family to challenge your sense of entitlement), the labour markets that are created, maintained and made available by government. No, they were built by the taxpayers of Australia, for the benefit of all Australians, fairly, equitably and with a view to building a better future.
Ms Rinehart, you are not simply 'entitled' to keep and multiply the benefits of the wealth left to you by your father to be used for personal gain through influencing the government of the day. Every time you use your influence to reduce your contribution - the MRRT was such an example - you are exercising your belief that you are entitled, and you are stealing from the Australian people. You and others like you, owe the Australian tax payer a great deal, and you should be paying it back.