Gina Rinehart's latest comments about African workers who are "willing to work for less than $2 a day" have infuriated fellow Australians and stunned the global press.
"Meet Gina Rinehart: World's Richest Woman (and World's Biggest Troll)," ran a headline on the Atlantic Wire website.
The Los Angeles Times ran a sarcastic piece poking fun at Rinehart's attempts to give her fellow Australians "some more helpful advice" after she earlier urged them to "drink less and work harder."
The BBC covered the story in a more measured manner claiming that "as Chinese demand wavers, Ms Rinehart has decided to use a rare public appearance to blame Australia's high costs for the (mining) slowdown."
Locally, union leader Dave Oliver echoed what many Australian's were probably thinking as they watched Rinehart's ten-minute address to the Sydney Mining Club. "It took me a bit of time to work out if I was watching a comedy skit or a horror movie," Oliver said.
"It's an insult to all the workers who work for her company," the secretary of Australian Council of Trade Union added.
The Prime Minister Julia Gillard took little time in joining the chorus condemning the mining mogul's comments. "It's not the Australian way to toss people $2, to toss them a gold coin, and then ask them to work for a day," she said.
Professor Jeff Bennett from the Australian National University took a broader view when he said "Australians have been lectured at by their masters for a long time that unless we cave in, people from warmer climes are going to run down our living standards.
"Now if we'd been following that narrative for the last 200 years, we wouldn't be where we are now," he concluded.
Joining the politicians and academics in their scorn were everyday Australians. In response to the article Rinehart's explosive video sparks outrage the following comments were left on Yahoo!7's Facebook page:
* "Profits, profits, profits, profits............... that's all these Fat Cats, Capitalists, bourgeois, Bankers, false elitists etc are concerned about, the cheaper the labour the more profits in there pockets," Said Mike Parkinson
* "Gina Rhinehart was born into her wealth which she inherited from her father Lang Hancock. Her attitude is typical of the filthy rich elite who want to treat all workers as Peons in a 3rd world country. Just how much is enough?" commented Neil Adsett
* "I truly believe that Gina Rinehart will be proven to be pure evil," said Lorin Hall
* "People like gina should be made to go back to basics and see if they can live on $2.00 a day in Australia. People like Gina are turning this Country backwards to a third world. Shame on you all. Let the rich take some pay cuts and keeps those struggling employed," commented Cathy Clifford
* "Wow some very nasty comments, but at the end of day i guess people just want a fair go. My husband & i are working 4 jobs between us to make ends meet due to the high cost of living. I do believe that Australians should reek some of the benefits of the mining boom, i also believe that the wages are over indulgent but the government, executives & ceo's etc there wages are just as ludicrous," said Jus O'Brien
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