Power cost rise denied

Gareth ThomasAlbany Advertiser

Liberal candidate for Albany Greg Stocks says the privatisation of 51 per cent of Western Power would not affect the delivery of electricity in the region and would provide revenue for important road and education projects in the Great Southern, as well as paying down State debt.

Mr Stocks said there were many misconceptions of the Liberal party policy, including the likelihood of power price increases.

Mr Stocks said of the 51 per cent of the poles and wire company to be sold, 31 per cent would go to Australian superannuation companies and 20 per cent would go to “mum and dad investors”.

“Western Power does not sell electricity and that’s the key point — it’s a poles and wire delivery service,” he said.

“What I can see coming is a scare campaign from WA Labor around that.”

“They haven’t come up with one reasonable argument about why electricity prices will go up because of the sale, they are just saying it will.”

Mr Stocks said the electricity retailer Synergy was unable to increase the cost of power purely on the basis of Western Power being privatised as it had to abide by the decisions of the independent regulator.

“That’s a complete scare campaign,” he said.

On a recent trip to Albany, Colin Barnett pledged $20 million to upgrade Albany and North Albany senior high schools as part of the Liberals’ $560 million schools renovations policy that would be funded by the partial sale of Western Power.

WA Labor leader Mark McGowan said the sale of Western Power was the Premier “simply flogging off a valuable State asset to continue their spending addiction, which has seen State debt reach nearly $30 billion.”

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