Western Australia Minister for Energy Peter Collier
Opposition Claims Over Electricity Network Incorrect And Irresponsible
Victor P Taffa
Energy Minister Peter Collier has labelled comments by Leader of the Opposition Eric Ripper that the State’s electricity network had been short-changed as incorrect and irresponsible.
Mr. Collier rebuked claims the State Government was ‘starving’ the electricity network, instead emphasising the need for a more responsible approach to expenditure because of Labor’s financial mismanagement of the energy sector.
“The Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) did not allow $261 Million of Western Power’s capital expenditure in the first Access Arrangement period due to a lack of rigorous financial oversight under the previous Labor government.” Mr. Collier said.
“The 2010-11 Budget provides capital expenditure of more than $3.6 Billion to ensure Western Australia has a secure and reliable energy system.”
“This is in addition to $318.9 Million in the 2010-11 Budget to build Stage 1 of the North Country Reinforcement Project.”
“The Budget also provides for all operating expenditure approved by the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA).” Mr. Collier said.
“The Liberal-National Government intends to allocate additional capital expenditure, once business cases have been submitted and authorised, for Western Power to meet growth and undertake asset maintenance and replacement.”
“Furthermore, Western Power will need regulatory approval from the ERA before starting any major investment, which is consistent with existing processes.”
“The State Government will not squander taxpayers’ money on needless expenditure, while also ensuring WA has a secure and reliable electricity network.” Mr. Collier said.
The New South Wales Keneally Government is keen to pursue sell Electricity Retail Power Companies at a markedly reduced rate at which Former Premier Carr and Treasurer Egan would have achieved for the sale of the Industry. Editor Victor P Taffa opposes the sale of Power Companies.