The Nationals in Government will support the partial sale of Western Power with the proceeds used to create thousands of new jobs and improve priority infrastructure, including regional power supplies.
Leader of The Nationals WA Brendon Grylls MLA today announced the proceeds from a partial-sale of Western Power would be reinvested into new projects through the $3 billion Next Generation Account.
“The Next Generation Account will deliver funding to priority areas for the State, including upgraded schools and TAFE facilities, transport infrastructure, and improving the reliability of electricity supplies in regional areas,” Mr Grylls said.
Proceeds from the partial-sale would benefit regional communities particularly those living on the edge of the grid.
“For regional residents living at the end of long feeder lines, this additional investment will allow us to deliver edge-of-grid energy solutions such as microgrids,” he said.
“This will vastly improve outcomes for families and businesses who have struggled with intermittent and unreliable power supply. The Next Generation Account will also mean regional communities will be at the forefront of technological advances in energy.”
Mr Grylls said The Nationals WA were committed to asset recycling to ensure proceeds from the sale of State-owned assets are reinvested into new, job creating infrastructure projects.
“The Next Generation Account will create thousands of new jobs for West Australian workers including builders, tradespeople, engineers, technology providers and support staff,” Mr Grylls said.
“Importantly, this initiative will create new jobs and deliver hundreds of new projects while reducing State debt by $8 billion.”
Under the 51 per cent float proposal, the State Government will remain the largest shareholder at 49 per cent. Indicative targets will see 30 per cent of shares sold to Australian superannuation funds and 20 per cent to mum and dad retail investors including Western Power employees.
Mr Grylls said it would be “business as usual” for workers and consumers of Western Power throughout the sale process.
“Strict employee protections will be outlined as part of the sale process so Western Power workers can remain secure in their employment,” Mr Grylls said.
“Western Power is a regulated monopoly, which means a number of independent regulators will continue to oversee various parts of the business including safety, reliability, prices and performance, regardless of who owns Western Power. This will not change.”
Treasurer and Energy Minister Mike Nahan said there would be no increase in the cost of electricity for WA consumers or any reduction in the safety and reliability of the electricity network as a result of the proposed public float of Western Power.