Energy Minister Mike Nahan cannot say how much recombining Verve and Synergy will cost or how much it will save - but insists the merged power company will be better for taxpayers than existing arrangements.
Dr Nahan said a combined Verve and Synergy could save as much as 30 per cent on its fuel purchases - primarily long-term gas and coal contracts - by co-ordinating its buying activities and achieving economies of scale.
Debate on the Electricity Corporations Amendment Bill was due to start in State Parliament last night amid controversy, with the Government poised to use its numbers to declare the legislation "urgent".
Bills must ordinarily "lay on the table" for three weeks before being debated. This Bill was introduced into Parliament two weeks ago.
Dr Nahan said yesterday the Government had spent $2.4 million so far on the merger but could not say what the ultimate cost would be because "it hasn't been put together yet".
Asked how much the merger would save, he said: "I can't say for sure but it will save hundreds of millions of dollars."
Dr Nahan claimed the Government had done extensive financial modelling but this would not be released before the merger was debated.
Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said it was now apparent Labor would not see the complex regulations that would govern the operation of the Bill before a vote.
"They are hiding the detail from the Parliament and the public, so we don't know the way the new entity will be governed," Mr McGowan said.
Dr Nahan defended the absence of the regulations, saying regulations associated with the split of Western Power were not produced until six months after the relevant legislation passed Parliament.
But that demerger came after a five-year reform process and was supported by then-Liberal opposition, Mr McGowan said.