As the battle over iron ore wages on, mining billionaire Andrew Forrest is fighting back.
The Fortescue Metals Group chairman has now launched an all-out war on Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, urging Australians to “standup” and bombard local MP’s and question if they should be operating in Australia.
“Write, email or ring your local MP. Be clear in your views. Ask the government to consider the multinationals’ license to operate in Australia if they don’t market Australian iron ore responsibly for all Australians.”
Forrest, which recently accused Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton of saturating the iron ore market, also revealed he is now being forced to lay off more than 100 workers a day in his own company. Last week, Forrest said the company's decision to scrap a family-friendly fly-in, fly-out roster was "personally devastating".
“As the person who founded the company it is heartbreaking, and yet my pain is nothing compared to the suffering of all those people now suddenly in unemployment queues,” said Forrest.
“However what is really galling is that the price has fallen off a cliff not just because of international forces beyond our control but because of the words and actions of companies, particularly London-based multinationals, who mine and export our iron ore.”
Iron ore, Australia’s biggest export, has plummeted in recent months. According to Forrest, for every dollar lost the economy loses $800 million and the government loses $300 million in company tax revenue.
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"When multinationals pursue business strategies which flood the market in a last-man-standing race to the bottom, we don't have free markets. Australians own the iron ore.”
“I call Rio’s attitude callous disregard of Australia,” Forrest said.
“It is these sorts of threatening statements that are causing the iron ore price to collapse and damaging the Australian economy.”