MP supports Loy Yang sale

The State Member for Gippsland, Peter Hall, believes a bid by a consortium to buy Victoria's Loy Yang power station and associated coal mine will not disadvantage consumers.

Mr Hall told the ABC today that he hoped the sale would go-ahead because it would assure hundreds of local jobs.

The consortium bid, led by electricity retailer AGL, values the La Trobe Valley power station and associated infrastructure at $3.5 billion.

However, the planned acquisition has sparked price fears. AGL is the dominant retailer and generator in Victoria supplying 40% of the State's electricity and gas. Loy Yang accounts for a third of the state's energy needs.

Certainly the deal is set to test the mettle of new Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman, Graeme Samuel, who must decide if the deal is anti-competitive.

Previous chairman of the ACCC, Allan Fels, has indicated in the past that such a purchase could breach the Trade Practices Act.

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