The truth about power prices if Western Power is sold

Thursday 01 Dec 2016

Following yesterday’s announcement by Colin Barnett that a re-elected Liberal/National government would sell-off 51 per cent of Western Power, the State government has commenced an advertising campaign to spruik their unpopular plan to privatise the publicly owned asset.

The Australian Services Union and Electrical Trades Union have slammed the Liberal/National government’s taxpayer funded public relations campaign, and labelled it just another attempt to hoodwink the community and sell them a utility they already owned.

Australian Services Union State Secretary Wayne Wood said that Premier Barnett and Dr Nahan had regularly tried to dismiss the union’s long-term opposition to the privatisation of WA’s electricity system as a scare campaign.

“What Colin Barnett and Dr Nahan can’t dismiss, is the truth about power prices in privately owned electricity networks.” he said.

“The real experience of privatisation speaks for itself, with power prices shown to be significantly higher in those states where the network has been privatised.”

South Australia and Victoria are the only states where poles and wires are completely privatised, and according to independent reports by Carbon & Energy Markets and St Vincent de Paul, the two states where households pay the most for electricity are South Australia and Victoria.

During the 2015/16 financial year, the average household electricity bill in WA was about $1,700.  For the same volume of electricity (6,000 kWh per annum), the average bills in South Australia and Victoria, respectively, were $2,300 and $2,100 per annum.

“When Colin Barnett was Energy Minister, he floated Alinta Gas saying it would be owned by mums and dads. Alinta shares quickly ended up in corporate hands and gas prices have gone up ever since.”

“Colin Barnett has history when it comes to deceiving Western Australian’s, and the government’s blatant use of taxpayer funds, for what is clearly a political propaganda campaign, should be formally investigated.”