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Packer leading Oz’s mogul list

SYDNEY — Oz’s media players have a reputation for being thrifty, and that approach appears to have paid off. Media moguls and entertainment barons (OK, and property tycoons) dominated Business Review Weekly magazine’s recently released list of Australia’s 200 wealthiest citizens.

Easily retaining his crown as Oz’s richest man is media supremo Kerry Packer with $3 billion, an increase of $468 million over last year. By comparison, his nearest competitor was a shopping center boss who raked in a mere $1.1 billion.MGM part-owner and Seven Network chief Kerry Stokes is Oz’s 10th richest punter, with an estimated fortune of $468 million. His nearest showbiz rival, Roc Kirby, topper of exhib-distrib-producer Village Roadshow, and his family are worth $327.6 million.

The only moneyed thesp is Mel Gibson, with $66.3 million.

The two showbiz newcomers to the list both reaped windfalls after their companies went public: Southern Star exec chairman Neil Balnaves (with $46.8 million) and Peter Ivany, chief exec of exhibber Hoyts ($58.5 million).

Of course, the list was limited to Oz citizens. Australia’s most well-known media magnate, Rupert Murdoch, is a U.S. citizen now. But he would beat out Packer: According to a recently published list of richest Southern Californians, Murdoch, a Beverly Hills resident, came in at No. 1 with $3.2 billion.

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