Rinehart s daughter given $45m

Gina Rinehart gave her daughter Hope $45 million when the 30-year-old abandoned her siblings and pulled out of the court battle she had launched against the mining magnate.

The money was given on condition she sign over voting rights to her Hancock Prospecting shares, held for her in the disputed family trust that was set up by her grandfather Lang Hancock.

She was banned from criticising her mother and had to agree not to help her siblings John Hancock and Bianca Rinehart in their legal stoush over the trust.

As the court battle over the Hancock fortunes enters its fourth year, the NSW Supreme Court was told yesterday that Mrs Rinehart's two youngest children - who have sided with her - had entered agreements where they had to effectively mirror their mother's wishes.

Mrs Rinehart stepped down as head of the contentious family trust last year, just days before the trial into her fitness to hold the role was due to begin.

The court asked all parties to agree on a suitable replacement but both sides have been deadlocked. Bianca is the only family member to have put her name forward as potential trustee.

Ginia has suggested a custodial structure, owned by all four of the children but with an independent director to serve as trustee.

Christopher Withers, representing John and Bianca, suggested even though Ginia and Hope were represented as separate parties, they were now in a financial position where they had to mirror their mother's views.

This meant they were being controlled "behind the scenes" over who they would vote in as trustee and could not support Bianca's appointment.

Mr Withers said $45 million paid to Hope was in the form of two loans with the promise she would be advanced enough money and "gifts" during their seven-year term to be be able to pay them off easily.

If she breached the terms of the loans, she would have to give back the entire amount.

The hearing continues today.

The West Australian

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