Colin Barnett said there had been an over-reaction to Mr Forrest’s idea, including by Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh, who labelled it a “harebrained scheme” and “absolute nonsense”.
“I don’t think Andrew Forrest ever used the word cartel and I think the response has been a little bit exaggerated,” the Liberal leader told Radio 6PR on Friday.
“I think the point he’s trying to make is if you flood the market, you hurt yourself, you hurt the smaller companies, you certainly hurt your shareholders, and I think the iron ore industry should be supplying to meet the market.
“That’s not a cartel or predatory pricing or whatever else, but just keeping supply at a reasonably stable level, which allows for natural growth in the market.
“It’s a fine line, I guess, between thinking about how you supply the market as distinct from getting into problems with trade practices law.”
This is really fanciful. All legalities aside, if Andrew Forrest joins with RIO and BHP then the juniors will most certainly die as Roy Hill, Vale, Sino and Anglo come on. Then FMG will still probably die. Even if they all join together the juniors will have to die anyway unless all the big guys immediately cease 200 million tonnes of expansion with largely sunk costs which is absurd.
Comrade Colin is looking to do the same thing that Andrew Forrest is, shift the blame to big iron for his woes for his own purposes.