Verve/Synergy merger under fire in WA
WA Government suggestions to merge state owned energy companies Verve and Synergy have been met with howls of protest not just from the State Opposition but from the industry lobby groups.
Premier Colin Barnett suggested the merge last month, saying the original decision to split Western Power in 2006 had led to higher retail prices.
“They are basically competing and interfering with each other, and damaging each other, and there is no point to that,” he said in February, while WA Energy Minister Peter Collier advanced the idea this week.
Collier said the merger was a “very real possibility,” saying it would create a “much more efficient utility.”
The WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry responded to the suggestion by voicing their opposition, saying private investment would be discouraged.
Opposition leader Mark McGowan told reporters outside Parliament that remerging the two companies was a “retrograde step” that would push up energy prices even more.
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