ETU condemns plans to open power market to private retailers

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) has condemned West Australian Treasurer Ben Wyatt’s plans to end Synergy’s monopoly and open the electricity market to competition, saying the move will undoubtedly result in higher power prices.

The West Australian newspaper reported on Monday, May 22, that Mr Wyatt planned to end State-owned power provider Synergy’s monopoly on the residential electricity market “sooner rather than later”.

ETU WA Branch State Secretary Les McLaughlan slammed the proposal, saying it would inevitably result in higher power prices and hit the hip pockets of all West Australians.

Mr McLaughlan said the move amounted to privatisation by stealth, and was in direct conflict with WA Labor’s election promises.

“Ben Wyatt seems to have picked up where Mike Nahan left off,” Mr McLaughlan said.

“We call on the Treasurer to clarify what he means when he says consumers will be better off and that they need to pay more to pay less.

“We’ve seen in other states what retail competition means for power prices to consumers, and it is sure to have dire consequences for West Australian consumers if this government opens the market.

“This is not WA Labor policy, nor did they take this proposal to the election.

“In fact WA Labor opposed introducing competition into the WA electricity network knowing full well it would lead to increased power prices and reduced reliability.

“We will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Treasurer to raise our concerns and seek further clarification on his comments."

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