The Shadow Treasurer Dr Steve Thomas says the Annual Report on State Finances released yesterday has highlighted the debacle that is the mismanagement of the WA coalfields at Collie.
“Hidden away on page 136 in the section entitled “Non-quantifiable Contingent Liabilities” is a reference to the likely ongoing subsidies for the insolvent Griffin Coal, which tells us that the operating subsidies will potentially be going on for years” Dr Thomas said.
The report says on page 136:
Payments to secure generation capacity from coal fired electricity generation facilities in the South West Interconnected System are expected to continue in to 2023-24 and potentially longer. Under the Process Agreement, future payments are at the discretion of the State and are not quantifiable at this time.”
“Western Australian taxpayers have already subsidised the operating losses at Griffin to the tune of $27.3 million this year, with no end in sight and apparently no limit on the cash handouts from the Cook Labor Government” Dr Thomas said.
“The Annual Report on State Finances has this week confirmed my fears that the Government will keep tipping taxpayer’s money into this financially defunct company beyond even the current 2023-24 financial year.
“In a further indictment of the Government’s management, it has paid over a million dollars in consultant’s fees to get to this ridiculous result.
“Roger Cook is not only the Premier, but he is also the Minister for State Development, and in that role he is responsible for the operations of the coalfields.
“At the moment however that management is an embarrassment of the highest order.
“I guess he is lucky that the Annual Report on State Finances also announced a $5.1 billion surplus and another $1.3 billion hidden away in Government Trading Enterprise accounts, most notable WaterCorp.
“He will need that extra money to prop up this company that is foreign owned and may be trading while insolvent.
“Perhaps if he could manage the coalfields properly that money could spent instead on Western Australians struggling with the cost of living” Dr Thomas said.