Merger of Verve and Synergy policy backflip

What they promised

I’m of the view that the merging of Synergy and Verve will not solve the problems as they currently exist, therefore the government will not be following this path

- Peter Collier, 26/8/09

What they say now

Chief among the proposed changes is the remerger of Verve and Synergy

- Colin Barnett, 10/4/13

31 Jul 2013 - Despite giving a commitment in 2009 that Verve and Synergy would not be remerged, the Premier Colin Barnett has announced the remerger of the two entities.

The Minister made it very clear to the industry stakeholders there that it would not merge Verve and Synergy to solve the problems facing the state's energy industry (key quote begins at 1:58).

 

While the Barnett Government announced a range of energy policies in the lead up to the 2013 election no change was made to their position and the community and the energy industry went to the election understanding that there was no plans to remerger Verve and Synergy.    

On the 10 April 2013 following the election, the Barnett Government released a Ministerial Media Statement ‘Changes to Machinery of Government’ outlining a their plan to remerge Verve and Synergy. The Premier said that the splitting of Verve and Synergy had contributed to higher electricity costs in the South West grid, a claim that has been widely disputed by industry and the CCI. 

The new Board for the remerged entity was announced on the 2 July 2013.  The Board has been tasked with creating the new entity by the 1 January 2014. In the announcement, the government stated that ‘Legislative changes will now be developed to integrate Synergy and Verve Energy into a single government trading entity to take effect from January 1, 2014.’ 

The decision to remerger the two entities has been met with strong opposition from the Economic Regulation Authority, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the energy industry, experts and the business community.

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