15 September 2017

Raid on Synergy will put more pressure on power prices

The Opposition has raised concern that the McGowan Government is ripping over $100 million out of the Government owned business Synergy while it is operating at a loss.

Shadow Treasurer, Dean Nalder said the raid was simply to fund Mark McGowan’s $5 billion of unfunded election commitments.

“This is despite slugging mums and dads a $169 increase to their electricity bill,” Mr Nalder said

“It follows revelations in the State Budget that customers will be paying almost 30% more for electricity over the term of the McGowan Government.

“Synergy’s 2017 Annual Report tabled in Parliament late yesterday highlighting that the business lost $12m following a profit of $32m last year, despite receiving subsidies from the government.

“In addition, Mark McGowan’s Government will require Synergy to absorb an additional $56 million of costs associated with the early abolition of the electricity subsidy for customers (known as the Tariff Adjustment Payment).

“The Labor Government also increased the dividend that Synergy pays government from 65% to 75%.

“This is clearly irresponsible financial management and is not sustainable for Synergy or the Western Australian energy system.

“The McGowan Government has inherited a reliable and secure energy system that has enjoyed no significant disruptions in the last eight and a half years.

“This was due to good management and substantial capital investment following a long period of underinvestment by the previous Labor Government. This same underinvestment lead to substantial disruptions and blackouts.

“Western Australia’s energy system cannot afford to return to the poor management of previous State Labor Government’s otherwise we will have the skyrocketing electricity prices and blackouts currently being experienced over east.

“Labor has been in government for six months and they need to be outlining their energy plan not running down the State’s energy assets.