WESTERN Power is under pressure to disclose its dealings with Toodyay fire victims following reports of alleged offerings of secret payouts.
The electricity supplier is understood to have offered payments to up to 10 people involved in a class action again the utility.
They allege damages over a 2009 fire that razed 38 homes.
According to opposition emergency services spokeswoman Margaret Quirk, Western Power sought to impose confidentiality agreements on victims who agreed to settle for the payments.
Toodyay resident Laurie Biggs lost everything in the fire when his Sandplain Road home was destroyed.
Mr Biggs, who has not been offered a settlement, said the public had a right to transparency.
“I’m glad some people are receiving payouts because they need it, but I have heard they aren’t happy with the amount of money (being offered),” he said.
Mr Biggs said he had been told by other Toodyay fire victims they had been “worn down and bullied” by Western Power to accept the settlements.
Western Power continues to maintain it was not responsible for the fire, but Mr Biggs believes he has proof the utility is liable.
Mr Biggs said two Western Power employees told him soon after the fire that the electricity supplier was responsible.
“I agree that if Western Power was not responsible they shouldn’t pay, but from the outset, the Government has not wanted the truth to come out.”
Mr Biggs said the State Government did not want information about the “woeful condition of the energy network” and “inept” investigations by the Fire and Emergency Services Authority and Energy & Safety into the cause of the blaze to be revealed.
Ms Quirk called on Energy Minister Peter Collier to explain why details of alleged Western Power payments to a group of people who lost their homes in Toodyay fires was being kept secret.
“Many Toodyay homeowners who were not part of the settlement are still seeking compensation from Western Power and it’s important they are able to view the conditions that allowed some to be offered payments,” she said.
Western Power declined to comment on the claims.
A statement from the Energy Minister said any discussions between the utility and fire victims would remain confidential.
Mr Collier also said he had asked Western Power to enter into a process of mediation with some members of the Toodyay community.
Mr Biggs has started to rebuild his home with the help of friends and plans to take legal action against Western Power by the end of the year.
“I believe that, in the public interest, the total payout should be announced, together with the lawyers’ cost and any other commissions paid by Western Power.”