Barnaby Joyce in bitter war between billionaire and daughter
AUSTRALIA'S richest person Gina Rinehart has accused her daughter Bianca of seeking to involve Barnaby Joyce in their bitter court battle because she deeply disapproves of the former deputy PM as a person and a politician.
Bianca has served a subpoena on Mr Joyce seeking documents relating to the $40,000 agriculture prize Mrs Rinehart gave him and any other financial dealings between the friends, including raffle tickets.
"This is a fishing expedition," Mrs Rinehart's barrister Christian Bova told a court yesterday in arguing to dismiss the subpoena served on Mr Joyce and those served on two other entities that received donations worth $8.5 million.
Mr Bova said Bianca Rinehart's tweets in May and June showed her "deep dislike and dissatisfaction with both the person and the politician" and the subpoena was an attempt to "embarrass" Mr Joyce and Hancock Prospecting.
Mrs Rinehart is chair of Hancock and is estimated by Forbes magazine to be worth $24 billion.
"This is a form of improper purpose based on this person's view of the individual," Mr Bova said.
The night Mr Joyce and his former staffer Vikki Campion appeared in a $150,000 interview about their affair and baby, Bianca Rinehart tweeted she was donating $150,000 to each state for victims of abuse.
She has also subpoenaed a mysterious foundation, CEF, which received $4 million from Hancock Prospecting in the year to June 2015, and the conservative Institute of Public Affairs think tank, which received $4.5 million from Hancock Prospecting.
The Institute did not declare Hancock Prospecting's donation in its annual report, and after receiving the funds awarded Mrs Rinehart life membership.
Justice Julie Ward said the life membership raised the question of whether the donation was made "in order for some benefit to be conferred", adding she wasn't sure whether the life membership was "a valuable commodity or not … other than for self-congratulatory purposes".
Bianca Rinehart is also seeking details of some $81 million Hancock Prospecting donated to various causes and political parties in just one year to June 2015.
She is trustee of the $4 billion family trust, the Hope Margaret Hancock Trust, which owns almost 25 per cent of the Hancock Prospecting, and has initiated the legal proceedings over corporate governance and distribution of assets at the company.
The case will return to court today.