Surprising suburbs where Brisbane’s richest live

They are among the wealthiest people in Australia, but they live quiet lives out in the suburbs of Brisbane.

We take a look at the city's 2020 Rich Listers - who they are, how they made their loot and where they live.

There are some surprising suburbs where these multi-millionaires have put down roots.

Trevor Lee and Keri Craig-Lee.
Trevor Lee and Keri Craig-Lee.

TREVOR, KERI LEE

Ascot power couple Trevor Lee and Keri Craig-Lee have had a great year due to the end of the drought, becoming billionaires according to the 2020 Australian Financial Review Rich List.

Their net worth soared 45.4 per cent last year to $1.02 billion.

Mr Lee heads up the Lee Group, which is one of Queensland's biggest companies with cattle-rearing and meat processing interests through Australian Country Choice.

He is also one of Australia's top 10 landholders.

But the couple have lived for years in a stunning mansion in the inner-north suburb where they oversee their property development, financing, air and marine charter portfolio and Ms Craig Lee's fashion business and store.

Developer Kevin Seymour with grandsons Trent Seymour and Ben Seymour at the site of their new display suite for 'The Oxlade'. Picture: Richard Walker
Developer Kevin Seymour with grandsons Trent Seymour and Ben Seymour at the site of their new display suite for 'The Oxlade'. Picture: Richard Walker

KEVIN SEYMOUR

The man who has changed Brisbane's skyline more than just about anyone, Kevin Seymour, says he loves the riverfront suburb of Teneriffe.

He parks his boat out the front of an apartment building he built there. A daughter lives in the same building.

The Seymour Group founder, who ranked 163rd on the 2020 AFR Rich List with a net worth of $662 million, said he loved the ever-changing river and the cafes, entertainment and parks of Tennyson.

COVID-19 made an impact on his wealth last year, which took a 13.8 per cent hit and was down from $768 million.

The 80-year-old has begun handing over control to family, including three grandsons he gave a cool $100 million as a test of their skill in developing a riverfront New Farm project.

As well as development, Mr Seymour has interests in the share market, cash and reserves, mortgage lending, oil and gas.

 

Construction at Jamie Pherous' riverfront mansion, where he wants to build a pool.
Construction at Jamie Pherous' riverfront mansion, where he wants to build a pool.

JAMIE PHEROUS

Corporate Travel Management's Jamie Pherous loves New Farm so much he is building a $20 million riverfront mansion there.

He will take on Council next month in the Planning and Environment Court after they knocked back plans for a pool on his property boundary, overlooking the New Farm Riverwalk.

Mr Pherous was ranked 160th on the AFR 2020 Rich List with a fortune of $623 million.

He also lost out big time last year due to COVID-19, which hammered his travel business.

 

Yu Feng chairman Gordon Fu.
Yu Feng chairman Gordon Fu.

GORDON FU

The ultra-low profile Taiwanese migrant, reportedly the son of a humble street vendor, came to Australia in 1992.

Since then he has built an immense portfolio of shopping centres and now only Westfield owns more centres.

He is reported to own a sprawling property at Robertson and another at Sunnybank, in the heart of Brisbane's unofficial "Chinatown''.

Apparently he chose the two suburbs so he could keep a close eye on his nearby shopping centres.

Officially no longer a billionaire after a four per cent drop in his wealth, his YFG Shopping Centres portfolio saw him rank 106th in the 2020 Rich List at $992 million.

Mr Fu cannot speak English and relies on his three sons to help run the family business.

 

The Gap mining multi-millionaire and managing director of QCoal, Chris Wallin. Picture: Marshall Sarah
The Gap mining multi-millionaire and managing director of QCoal, Chris Wallin. Picture: Marshall Sarah

CHRIS WALLIN

For a man who is the 70th richest in the country, with a worth of $1.43 billion, the QCoal managing director lives a humble life and has called The Gap in Brisbane's westside home for nearly four decades.

He is another Rich Lister to post a substantial decline in wealth, down 23.9 per cent from $1.88 billion.

Mr Wallin started out as a public servant in the State Government's Mines Department where he rose to chief coal geologist.

For eight years, his team had exclusive exploration rights to the Bowen Basin - "the best coalfield in the world" he once told The Sunday Mail in a rare interview.

 

Trevor St Baker, chairman of Delta Electricity, at Vales Point power station.
Trevor St Baker, chairman of Delta Electricity, at Vales Point power station.

TREVOR ST BAKER

Coming in at number 149 on the 2020 Rich List with a cool $699 million, the ERM Power founder built his wealth on an industry fuelled by coal and gas but has now embraced renewables.

He loves showing visitors to his St Lucia home his rooftop solar panels, gas-fuelled generator and electric Tesla car.

These days he is also well known for backing Tritium, which is developing electric car fast-charging technology.

Awarded an Order of Australia, he enjoys playing a mentoring role to young executives at innovative start-ups.

 

Don O'Rorke in his $10 million home at Brookfield in 2018. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian
Don O'Rorke in his $10 million home at Brookfield in 2018. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian

DON O'RORKE

Don O'Rorke is a byword in the Queensland property industry, steering big, transformative projects like Yeerongpilly Green in Brisbane's inner-south.

As a founding member of Consolidated Properties Group, he successfully shaped the business over 40 years to its current $2.3 billion development pipeline.

Ranked number three on The Courier-Mail's 2018 Top 10 Property List and number 66 on the Top 100 Influencers List, he is also a proud philanthropist.

In 2018 be bought a sprawling $10 million estate in Brookfield in Brisbane's leafy inner-west.

 

Construction work last year at the Fig Tree Pocket compound owned by Clive Palmer. Picture: Richard Walker
Construction work last year at the Fig Tree Pocket compound owned by Clive Palmer. Picture: Richard Walker

CLIVE PALMER

The multi-millionaire iron ore magnate is another seriously rich Brisbanite who calls the inner west home.

He bought former Linc Energy boss Peter Bond's Rivergum Retreat mansion at Fig Tree Pocket last year for a reputed $7.5 million and now has three adjacent properties, one with absolute river frontage.

He ruffled feathers among neighbours late last year by building a huge concrete wall dubbed The Great Wall of Palmer.

Neighbours complained it had blocked access to one of his ponds, used by a family of ducks which lives opposite in a park.

He is currently the wealthiest person in Queensland and the eighth richest in the country.

In 2020 he was worth $9.18 billion after a spike of almost 125 per cent due to ballooning iron ore royalties.

 

Bevan Slattery with his cherished pinball machines in his office. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian
Bevan Slattery with his cherished pinball machines in his office. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian

BEVAN SLATTERY

Another Fig Tree Pocket resident, the tech entrepreneur and founder of Megaport came in at 190th on the AFR 2020 list with a fortune of $564 million.

Mr Slattery's NEXTDC built its first data centre in Fortitude Valley in 2011 and later built others in Sydney and Melbourne.

The rise of online banking and shopping, streaming and social media has pushed NEXTDC into the big league as demand surges for secure places to store the data necessary to run the digital economy.

NEXTDC is now in the top 60 companies on the Australian Stock Exchange.

 

Scott Hutchinson at The Fortitude Music Hall, one of his passions. Picture Lachie Millard
Scott Hutchinson at The Fortitude Music Hall, one of his passions. Picture Lachie Millard

SCOTT HUTCHINSON

The chairman of Hutchinson Builders lives at Kangaroo Point.

Although he is Australia's 199th wealthiest person with a fortune of $545 million, he is as well known for his good deeds as his riches.

Mr Hutchinson was named Corporate Philanthropist of the Year and is known for training indigenous people for construction jobs and supporting the local music scene.

COVID-19 also hit his business hard and his net worth plunged 30.2 per cent last year, down from $781 million.

He said he chose to live in Kangaroo Point because his current home was a property deal "too good to refuse'', but insisted his blood was in the city's inner west.

The Australian head office of the company is in Toowong and many of its philanthropic activities are in the area.

"If you do good things in the community, good things will start to happen to you,'' Mr Hutchinson said.

 

Cathie Reid, Stuart Giles and their children Sascha and Sam poolside at the Indooroopilly house that was their home for years. Picture: Mark Cranitch
Cathie Reid, Stuart Giles and their children Sascha and Sam poolside at the Indooroopilly house that was their home for years. Picture: Mark Cranitch

CATHIE REID/STUART GILES

Also westsiders for many years, the founders of Epic Pharmacy Group and Icon Cancer Centres came in at 195th in the AFR 2020 Rich List with a worth of $550 million.

They put their impressive Indooroopilly house on market in 2016 because their children were growing up and they wanted to move on.

The property included a climate-controlled wardrobe for Ms Reid's huge clothing collection.

The couple sold their Epic brand last year and have offloaded most of their stake in the Icon Cancer Centre private hospital chain.

Ms Reid said she could have easily settled into a life as a corner store chemist after completing a pharmacy degree at Monash University in 1990.

Instead, after meeting Mr Giles, a fellow pharmacy graduate, the couple embarked on building the two highly successful healthcare businesses.

 

 

Reg and Hazel Rowe, founders of Super Cheap Auto. Picture: Barry Pascoe
Reg and Hazel Rowe, founders of Super Cheap Auto. Picture: Barry Pascoe

REG ROWE

Bridgeman Downs on Brisbane's northside is an unlikely place for a billionaire, but that is where retailer Reg Rowe and his wife Hazel have lived for decades on their sprawling property.

The multimillion-dollar home features a huge lawn, tennis court and horse stables.

The couple also own an equally stunning riverfront home at Noosaville.

Mr Rowe, who regularly appeared on the nation's rich lists, remains a non-executive director of Super Retail Group - the parent company of Super Cheap Auto, BCF, Macpac and Rebel.

Rank 88th in Australia, he grew his fortune by 6.7 per cent last year despite the tough times in retailing, to a total of $1.17 billion.

That's not bad for a former department store salesman who started out with a humble mail order company.

Queensland Rich Lister John Van Lieshout. Picture: Mark Calleja
Queensland Rich Lister John Van Lieshout. Picture: Mark Calleja

JOHN VAN LIESHOUT

Another legendary retailer, John Van Lieshout has also lived for many years in Indooroopilly.

The founder of Super Amart ranks 45th in the country with a worth of $2.04 billion, down 18.7 per cent on the previous year.

He became Queensland's first billionaire in 1995.

Mr Van Lieshout is the listed owner of nine properties across the southeast.

The flagship is a $4.5m riverfront mansion at Tennyson, but his 5000 sqm estate at Indooroopilly is impressive as well.

Mr Van Lieshout also owns property at Maleny, Noosa Heads and Gympie.

He has come a long way from the frightened 14-year-old kid who emigrated from Holland unable to speak English.

Maha Sinnathamby and his daughter Raynuha at the family home in Chapel Hill. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian
Maha Sinnathamby and his daughter Raynuha at the family home in Chapel Hill. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian

MAHA SINNATHAMBY

No, "Mr Springfield'' does not live at Springfield.

Instead, the Springfield City Group chairman, who built an entire city in Brisbane's southwest, put his family's roots down in Chapel Hill.

Ranked 76th in the country with a fortune of $1.35 billion last year, the engineer-turned-entrepreneur was born into poverty in a Malaysian village.

His life's achievement has been transforming 2860ha of bushland, which he bought for $8 million about 25 years ago, into a masterplanned community which is heading for more than 100,000 residents.

 

Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner at the company's South Bank headquarters. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled
Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner at the company's South Bank headquarters. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled

GRAHAM TURNER

Last year the outspoken Flight Centre co-founder, whose first outlet opened in 1982, was ranked 109th in Australia with a fortune of $852 million.

COVID-19's killer punch to the global travel industry knocked "Skroo'' off the top of the 2020 AFR Rich List for the first time in years.

He and wife Jude Turner live in a modern home by the river at Teneriffe.

They also own a holiday home at Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island, which provided welcome relief from the chaos of 2020 when Flight Centre's shares plunged - wiping millions of dollars off the Turners' wealth.

Ironically, COVID-19 strapped a rocket on to his son Matt's 99 Bikes franchise as Queenslanders turned to cycling during lockdown.

 

Terry
Terry "TJ" Peabody, son of millionaire Terry Peabody, put his $10 million riverside mansion at Chelmer on the market last year to pay back his dad after TJ’s restaurants went bust. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian

TERRY PEABODY

A jetsetter who flits around the globe in his private plane, when in Brisbane the man behind Craggy Range wines lives at a sprawling Moggill property in the inner west and a Kangaroo Point penthouse.

The founder of waste management firm Transpacific ranks 167th with a worth of $644 million last year.

The jaw-dropping $7 million Kangaroo Point penthouse has four bedrooms, six bathrooms and floor to ceiling glass walls offering panoramic view stretches from the Story Bridge to South Bank.

Worth nearly $1.5 billion at his peak in 2007, his son "TJ'' recently had to put his $10 million Chelmer pad on the market to pay back Mr Peabody after a string of restaurants collapsed.

Like many other immigrants, Mr Peabody found work on the Snowy Mountain hydro-electric and irrigation scheme before setting up his string of companies.

 

 

 

Originally published as Surprising suburbs where Brisbane's richest live



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