The latter has been the experience of consumers in the UK and Victoria.
There is confirmed evidence in Victoria since 2009 the reduced level of powerline maintenance and pole fires has resulted in bush fires that have devastated towns, including loss of human lives.
The private corporatisation of Western Power has to result in much higher energy accounts and lower maintenance performance, because the CEO, management heads require substantial salaries, shareholders want regular income payments and company value growth from share investments.
In addition, as we have a small population compared to the eastern states, the private energy company is not likely to have any competition to reduce energy costs or accounts, because the consumer market is not large enough for two energy companies.
The sale of Western Power will provide a short-term reduction in the Government debt level, but will become a long-term increased cost with lower service to consumers.