Conversations at Parliament House: Will the sale of Western Power affect Horizon customers?

Written on the 16 November 2016 by Jael Napper

With the price of power recently revealed to be the highest rising cost to small businesses in Broome in the 15/16 financial year, what will happen to the North West in the event of Western Power's sale?

Currently Western Power customers subsidise Horizon with a $130million TEF (Tariff Equalisation Fund).

Terry Redman explains that Western Power is worth $13billion and the sale of 51% to Australian super funds could relieve the government of billions of dollars of debt with money left over to fund new state infrastructure.
He reassures that this sale would not drive up pricing nor terms of the TEF, "The Government sets the price of power this has always been the case and will continue to be the case regardless of ownership in the future."

But Labor's Paul Papalia disagrees, "We won't sell off assets.  If you sell Western Power the state loses a revenue stream of $150m."

Labor believes that with this sale prices will go up, service will go down, and the government will lose revenue.

"The sale won't diminish debt by any significant amount, and it won't release any money for spending on infrastructure," said Papalia.

Author:Jael Napper

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