Electricity Prices greater than CPI

What they promised

We will keep electricity prices at or around the rate of inflation.

- Colin Barnett -19/2/13

What they say now

From 1 July the cost of electricity increased by 4%. Other increases include: water by 6%, gas by 6.4% [and] the emergency services levy by 7.8%

- Troy Buswell - 9/5/13

31 Jul 2013 - During the 2013 Leaders Debate Colin Barnett committed to keeping increases in electricity prices at or around the rate of inflation.

During the first term of the Barnett Government electricity prices increased by 62%. Given the level of community concern about the increases, Colin Barnett was asked a direct question on this matter during the Leader’s Debate on 19 February 2013.

Alisha O’Flaherty (to Barnett): Premier power prices have jumped by more than 60 per cent under your watch and the budget forecasts further hikes of 25 per cent over three years. Is that what you are planning?

Premier: Ah no, it is true that electricity prices have gone up significantly but Western Australia still has some of the lowest electricity prices in the country and what we inherited from the previous Labor Government was a situation where prices had been artificially held down and the utilities were facing a billion dollars in debt. It wasn’t a decision I enjoyed making, but it was a decision that had to be made. In the last two years electricity prices have gone up 5 per cent and 3.5 per cent and we will keep electricity prices at or around the rate of inflation.

The Leaders Debate was televised live on ABC TV. 

On the 9 May the Government issued a press release outlining the increases to a range of household fees and charges. Electricity is to rise by 4% from 1 July 2013 at a time when the current rate of inflation is 2.75%. As reported by Gareth Parker in The West Australian, this increase is 45% greater than the current rate of inflation. 

‘The average WA household will be slugged an extra $218 a year from July 1 after the State Government announced yesterday that it would increase a raft of fees and charges above the rate of inflation.'

- Page 1, The West Australian, 10 May 2013

'Power process were to be kept to “at or around” the 2.75 per cent rate of inflation. Instead they will rise 4 per cent, which despite Troy Buswell’s talk of “parameters”, misses the mark by a mere 45 per cent.'

- Gareth Parker 

On 16 April 2014, Treasurer Mike Nahan flagged further increases to electricity prices, stating that "We're going to struggle to keep it at CPI on electricity prices", due to falling revenue from iron ore royalties.

- ABC News Online, 16 April 2014 


Colin Barnett has proceeded to break his promise to keep electricity prices at or around the rate of inflation on another two occasions. The 2014-15 and  2015-16 Budgets contained rises of 4.5% in each year, far above the rate of inflation on each occasion