ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

THE SMALL NEW SOUTH WALES town of Forbes has released its annual Rich List this morning, featuring a few new surprise names as well as a number of main stayers.

The Forbes Rich List is an annual ranking of the town’s wealthiest people, compiled and published by The Forbes Advocate newspaper every December. The total net worth of each individual on the list is estimated, in Australian pesos, based on their assets and accounting for debt. Meth cooks and out-of-town-rugby-league-players whose wealth comes from their positions are excluded from the list.

The list has been published annually since 1987.

Each year, The Forbes Advocate employs a team of more than two reporters from a variety of backgrounds to track the activity of the town’s wealthiest individuals. Preliminary surveys are sent to those who may qualify for the list. According to The Advocate, they received three types of responses – some people try to inflate their wealth, others cooperate but leave out details, and some refuse to answer any questions.

These are the 2017 Forbes Rich List Top 3

3. Ralph McClymonte (Crystal Methenamine dealer/Cannabis grower)

Estimated wealth: $140 500

Ralph McClymounte has used his business know-how and sawn-off .22 to climb to the top of the ice tower. PHOTO: FORBES LAC
Ralph McClymounte has used his business know-how and sawn-off .22 to climb to the top of the ice tower. PHOTO: FORBES LAC

After dropping out of Forbes High School at age 15, there wasn’t much opportunity for McClymonte to taste success and reach the dreams he felt he deserved. After entering the family business of being paid off by glaziers to smash shop front windows, a young Ralph soon found himself frustrated by the lack of income.

“I saved up enough to buy some scales and a sawn-off semi-auto .22 from this bloke in Cowra,” he explained. “It wasn’t very much, but it got me into the regional start-up scene, which is generally centred around meth or sticky bush dank.”

By 2013, Ralph had stood over many of the existing drug dealers in Forbes, often intimidating them down at the McDonald’s carpark with his modified firearm. Former town dealer turned Dubbo grader driver Malcolm Collins understands that it was Ralph’s go-getter attitude that saw him rise to the top of the Icy Tower.

“A few mates and I shot up to Parkes to get some KFC one night and he [Ralph] followed us up there. While we ordered our meals inside, he hid next to our car with his sawn-off and waited for us. He ambushed us and shoved the muzzle of his gun so far down my throat, I thought I was about to shit it out”

“Ralph stole my Falcon and all the bikie pingers in it. I was in over my head, I had to get out.”

That was then.

Ralph is now estimated to be worth over $140 000 – a figure that’s blown the rest of the townsfolk away.

2. Wallace Bourke-Taylor (Sheep and Cattle Farmer/King’s School alumni)

Estimated wealth: $7.2m

If anybody asks him where he’s from, 9 times out of 10 he’ll say Eugowra. PHOTO: The King’s Gazette

Despite falling inside Forbes’ postcode, Wallace often tells people that he’s actually from nearby Eugowra.

Inheriting the property from his father Gavin, the 48-year-old quickly went to work consolidating and rebuilding his family’s property into the agricultural powerhouse it is today.

However, for all the success he’s had in life, the Gemini made it clear to The Advocate that he thinks the town has gone to shit in recent years, citing that he had no choice but to send his children away to boarding school.

“The town [Forbes] is awash with drugs and nocturnal violence these days,” he explained.

“Back in the day, in the time before Bunnings as we say, the town had a great atmosphere. The only drug you could get your paws on was a cold tin of beer at the end of a long work day. Now you’ve got youth in hoodies roaming the street, getting facial piercings and tattoos. What the fuck happened?”

Now estimated to be worth over $7m in cash, assets and investments, Wallace says that the divide in town between the brown-boot farmers and the black-boot townsfolk is greater than ever. Saying that there used to be jobs for the young and opportunity to raise a family within the town, he went on to explain that most of the town’s problems stem from those job losses and a general lack of stimulation.

“That’s why these decrepit townies have to fire up the glass barbie every night. There’s fuck all to do for the young besides sink piss and smoke rock.”

“Some of them root like it’s the last days of Rome and live off the benefits. It’s a real us and them type scenario in the bush these days.”

1. Pete Connor (Publican/???)

Estimated wealth: $980m

The 34-year-old owns every pub in town, but obviously has every other finger in some sort of pie. PHOTO: The Face Book

As with many small towns, the richest person owns most or all the pubs in town. Forbes is no exception.

But while he obviously maintains a healthy income living off the social misery of his fellow townsfolk, Pete Connor’s lifestyle doesn’t match the typical one enjoyed by a country town publican. Pete’s unorthodox business dealings has seen him placed under the ATO and NSW Police microscope more than once.

“I’m just a small town publican, who happens to drive a Porsche,” said Connor. “I make a good living, why can’t I enjoy the finer things in life? Is there a law against that?”

Some punters and dribblers around town suspect that Pete has got something to do with the flow of drugs through the village, something police have investigated in the past.

It’s common knowledge among bush communities that the bloke who owns the pub is always very, very dodgy – as it’s nigh on impossible to run a pub in a one horse town at a profit.

“That’s why they change hands so often. Some hero baby boomer thinks he’s God’s gift to the hospitality industry and moves out bush to jazz up some run down former-knock-shop,” said Connor.

“My success comes from giving farmers and junkies alike what they want. While I had admitted in the past to watering down the vodka on the $2 Vod and Rod nights down at the lake, that’s about it.”

While he claims to be worth a ‘tidy mill,’ researchers from The Forbes Advocate found evidence that would suggest the man is worth closer to a ‘tidy bill.’

Four shipping containers filled with chemicals used to create ice were discovered by the AFP in Port Botany earlier this year that were bound for Forbes, leading investigators to probe the residents.

“We think that Pete is the centre of a multi-national drug syndicate,” said one researcher. “We also think he’s killed people before so, yeah, there’s that.”

Connor denies all the accusations, saying he’s just the tallest poppy in town.



  1. We’ve got a great town. Sure, a minor drug problem but the cops are on top of the situation. Putting shit on us is not fair. There are lots to see and do here so call in sometime and I’ll show you around. Bear in mind however that Forbes is closed on weekends.


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