We working-class Australians all have the vague sense that Gina Rinehart is far above us. But now Andrew Leigh, the Member for Fraser, has calculated precisely how far it is.
In a passionate speech, ''Why Inequality Matters and What We Should Do About It'', to the Sydney Institute last night, he got his audiences's attention with this opening salvo.
''Imagine a ladder, in which each rung represents a million dollars of wealth. Imagine the Australian population spread out along this ladder, with their distance from the ground reflecting their household wealth.
''On this ladder, half of all households are closer to the ground than they are to the first rung. The typical Australian household is halfway to the first rung. Someone in the top 10 per cent is at least 1½ rungs up. A household in the top 1 per cent is at least 5 rungs up and Gina Rinehart is 5½ kilometres off the ground.''