The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted interim authorisation to a number of inner Sydney councils (Burwood Council, Ashfield Council, Auburn Council, City of Canada Bay Council, Leichhardt Council and Strathfield Council) to enable the councils to request and evaluate new tenders for the processing of dry recycling material within the Sydney metropolitan area.
“Interim authorisation will mean that the councils can commence the tender process, ensuring that it will be completed in time for a new contract to be implemented by 1 October 2013. During this time, the existing contract will remain in place until its expiry in September 2013. This will maintain stability in the processing of recycling material going forward,” ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.
In 2002, the ACCC authorised the same conduct for a group of Sydney councils, including the current applicants. The ACCC found that the public benefits would outweigh the detriments.
Interim authorisation commences immediately, and will remain in place until the date that the ACCC's final determination comes into effect or is revoked.
The granting of interim authorisation in no way binds the ACCC in its consideration of the substantive application for authorisation.
The ACCC has sought submissions from interested parties on the Inner Sydney Waste Management Group’s substantive application for authorisation. A draft decision on the substantive application will be issued in May/June 2013.
Authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.
Further information, including a copy of the interim authorisation, is available from www.accc.gov.au/AuthorisationsRegister.