The ACCC has released a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to the Goulburn Valley Waste and Resource Recovery Group and eight local councils in regional Victoria and Southern New South Wales (the Applicants) to collectively tender and contract for a range of waste and resource recovery services until 1 July 2036. The participating councils are Greater Shepparton City Council, Moira Shire Council, Campaspe Shire Council, Strathbogie Shire Council, Mitchell Shire Council, Murrindindi Shire Council, Murray River Council and Berrigan Shire Council.

The Applicants have sought to collectively tender and contract for the provision of a range of waste and resource recovery services in the region – including but not limited to, domestic kerbside residual waste, recyclables and organic waste collection and transport; domestic kerbside recyclables acceptance and sorting; domestic kerbside organic waste acceptance and processing; residual waste disposal; and collection, processing and/or disposal of specific material streams from council-operated Resource Recovery Centres (for example, e-waste, clothing and textiles, mattresses and soft furnishings, and rigid and soft plastics).

A separate tender process will be conducted for each of the individual waste and resource recovery services over an initial six year period, staggered as existing contracts with service providers expire. The first collaborative tender process will be for domestic kerbside recyclables acceptance and sorting services.

The proposed period of authorisation is intended to allow the Applicants to run separate joint tender processes for each of the waste and resource recovery services between 2020 and 2025, and for the participating councils to enter into contracts with service providers for up to ten years.

The ACCC invites interested parties to make a submission on the draft determination. The deadline for submissions is 28 January 2020.

Authorisation provides a legal exemption where the likely public benefits outweigh the likely public detriments; collective tendering and contracting by the Applicants, who would otherwise be competing to acquire their waste processing services, may otherwise breach competition laws.

Further information about the application for authorisation, including information about making a submission in response to the draft determination, is available on the ACCC’s public register at: Goulburn Valley Waste and Resource Recovery Group (GVWRRG).