Jews top Australia’s rich list

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – Australia’s three wealthiest individuals are high-profile members of the Jewish community, according to an annual list.

BRW magazine’s Rich 200 list published this week named Anthony Pratt, who inherited his father Richard’s packaging and recycling company when he died last month, as the nation’s wealthiest individual, followed by shopping mall magnate Frank Lowy and property mogul Harry Triguboff.

Pratt was listed with a fortune worth $3.35 billion, according to the magazine. Visy Industries, the company his father expanded into a global empire, has factories in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and the United States, where it employs about 3,000 staff in 26 states. The Pratt Foundation donates about $11 million a year to charities in Israel, America and Australia.

Lowy, 78, who survived the Holocaust before fighting in Israel’s War of Independence, has accrued $3.3 billion as founder of the Westfield Group, the world’s largest shopping mall owner with outlets in Australia, New Zealand, Britain and America.

Lowy established for $40 million the Lowy Institute for International Policy in 2002 as a gift to Australia on the 50th anniversary of his arrival in the country. In 2006 he founded the Israeli Institute for National Strategy and Policy, which operates within Tel Aviv University.

Triguboff, 76, who has made his fortune via his property development company, Meriton, is listed at $2.85 billion. He is the patron of the Jewish National Fund in New South Wales and is a longstanding supporter of the Yeshiva Center in Sydney, which houses the headquarters of Chabad-Lubavitch in the state.

The annual rich list, which was launched 26 years ago, also listed Malcolm Turnbull, the nation’s Conservative opposition leader, as worth $139 million. But Turnbull scoffed at the figures, telling the Australian Associated Press that BRW magazine had “no idea” of his true wealth and that its figures were “speculative.”

Topping the list of Australia’s richest families is the Melbourne-based Smorgon dynasty, which also supports numerous Jewish charities.

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