From The West Australian:
Colin Barnett has revealed Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey telephoned him about the prospect of a parliamentary inquiry into the iron ore industry last week and the Premier told him he “didn’t think it was a good idea”.
…“I’ve said right from the outset that I believe the approach taken by the big iron ore miners … was a flawed business strategy – I still believe that but I equally have said that I don’t think any good can come out of a federal parliamentary inquiry,” Mr Barnett said this morning.
“If there is any evidence of anti-competitive behaviour that should be referred to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
“If it’s not anti-competitive, the only other thing that could be done would be to impose restrictions on exports. That’s not in the interests of the iron ore industry, of Australia or WA.
“(An inquiry) would send the wrong message. I don’t think it would cause great damage but it could go off in any direction.”
Yep, and so it will, with today’s pet shop display an excellent example. Maybe the good Comrade should have thought of that before pumping the issue for all it is worth. And from the credulous Nick Xenophon:
“Any assertion that an inquiry into a sector, such as the iron ore sector, will do damage to our reputation with trading partners is verging on hysterical,”Independent Nick Xenophon said on Sky Business News this afternoon.
Err…no…the inquiry is the hysteria.