Use your power at the ballot box to save Western Power

Friday 10 Mar 2017

At the election this Saturday, we have a choice. We can re-elect Colin Barnett and let him privatise Western Power, or we can elect a McGowan Labor Government and keep Western Power in Western Australian public ownership.

When he privatised AlintaGas, Barnett said it would be owned by mum and dad investors. Sound familiar? Alinta is now 100 per cent foreign owned, prices have gone up and profits are sent offshore.

Even if Barnett stopped at a 51 per cent partial sale of Western Power, once these shares were listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, we’d have no control over who owned them.

With Western Power a highly profitable business, it is likely discussions are being held in boardrooms all around the world about how to purchase these shares and get control of Western Power.

As a part of his privatisation plans, Mr Barnett wants to transfer the regulation of Western Australia’s electricity system to the Australian Energy Regulation in Melbourne. This is the same body that regulates the Victorian and South Australian electricity systems, where the poles and wires have been completely privatised. Victoria and South Australia have the highest electricity prices in Australia, costing households hundreds of dollars more each year than we pay in WA.

The experience of privatisation in Australia and around the world is that it leads to higher prices, job losses and poorer quality services. This is because the number one priority of private companies is to make a profit.

Western Australia has had enough of privatisation. We can’t risk the current government returning to power and selling off more state assets, which is why we can’t risk voting for Pauline Hanson and One Nation after their preference deal with the Liberals.

Please use your power at the ballot box on Saturday to stop Colin Barnett and his plans to privatise Western Power.