Nice little earner makes Clive our richest
THERE are almost 100 million reasons why Clive Palmer is the richest Queenslander in a list published today.
While he continues to court controversy with his push into politics and his nickel refinery in Townsville, which is still subject to legal battles, Mr Palmer's wealth has been recorded at a whopping $4.51 billion on the inaugural edition of The List - Australia's Richest 250, published in The Weekend Australian.
Mr Palmer's fortune is underpinned by the $US66 million ($93 million) cheque he receives each quarter from Hong Kong iron ore mining company CITIC Pacific, from the royalties that flow his way from the huge Sino Iron project in Western Australia's Pilbara region.
He also received $350 million in one transaction a year ago after a big legal win over CITIC.
That money has allowed Mr Palmer to pursue another tilt at federal politics via his United Australia Party, which has advertised heavily on radio and television, as well as in newspapers and on billboards across the country.
Mr Palmer, though, is never far from controversy, with his wife Anna recently appearing in the Federal Court in Brisbane regarding huge sums of money being transferred from Mineralogy when she was the sole director of her husband's flagship mining company.
He is also still yet to reopen the Queensland Nickel refinery in Townsville, which collapsed more than two years ago with debts of hundreds of millions.
Mr Palmer has said he wants to get the refinery going again, and believes there's $6 billion worth of cobalt in the tailings dams owned by Queensland Nickel.
The next Queensland-based person on The List is Bianca Rinehart, daughter of mining billionaire Gina Rinehart. Bianca Rinehart's wealth is estimated at $4.50 billion, which reflects the 26 per cent shareholding attributed to her in Hancock Prospecting.
That stake is as a result of a legal dispute between the elder Rinehart and her children, which is still ongoing.
Coalminer Chris Wallin is the third richest Queenslander.
A former public servant who worked in the Queensland Mines Department as chief coal geologist before establishing his private QCoal mining company.
QCoal's has big mines in the Bowen Basin, and two of Mr Wallin's companies combined for pre-tax profits of $300 million last year.
The next wealthiest Queenslanders are migrant success stories. Gordon Fu and son-in-law Jack Lin's combined wealth of $1.7 billion comes from the ownership of shopping centres in the state's southeast, including Australia Fair on the Gold Coast and Brisbane's Brookside.
Fu arrived in Australia from Taiwan in 1992 and is said to have been the son of a street vendor. He reportedly speaks little English, relying on his sons and son-in-law to run the business.
The fifth richest Queenslander is Maha Sinnathamby, who has a $1.66 billion fortune from his 75 per cent stake in Springfield, the masterplanned community he and business partner Bob Sharpless have built from scratch on Brisbane's fringe.
Mr Sinnathamby moved to Australia from Malaysia in the 1970s, driving taxis before going into a real estate in Perth and later relocating to Queensland.
He and Mr Sharpless paid $7.84 million for what was scrubland in 1985. Springfield could be worth more than $13 billion by the time it is completed in 2030.
The List - Australia's Richest 250 is published in The Weekend Australian today and is also available online.
QUEENSLAND'S TOP 5
Clive Palmer - $4.51b (mining)
Bianca Rinehart - $4.49b (mining)
Chris Wallin - $2.18b (mining)
Gordon Fu and Jack Lin - $1.70b (property)
Maha Sinnathamby - $1.66b (property)