Mining industry groups in Perth and Canberra have come out today in favour of free markets in the iron ore industry, after Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest criticised the actions of heavywights Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.The Fortescue Metals Group founder has renewed his attack on BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto for continuing to increase supply despite softer demand for the commodity, and suggests their aim is drive competitors out of the market.Australia was being "gamed" by the multinationals and losing tax revenue, Mr Forrest wrote in an opinion piece for Sydney's Daily Telegraph.Mr Forrest urged Australians call on the federal government to consider their licences to operate "if they don't market Australian iron ore responsibly".However, Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Brendan Pearson said Mr Forrest shouldn't be pushing for government intervention."Andrew Forrest is playing a dangerous game," Mr Pearson said in a statement."There is no role for government in 'managing' the iron ore market."Any such move would give "a giant free kick" to Australia's competitors, such as Brazil."And one thing we know from commodity markets is that once given up, market share is very difficult to win back," Mr Pearson said."The Forrest view that Australia can effectively set the iron ore price is simply wrong."
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