The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted interim authorisation to eight regional councils in New South Wales to enable them to commence work on joint tenders for waste collection, recycling and organic waste services.
“Interim authorisation will allow the councils to commence the tender processes in a timely manner and to ensure that they can invite tenders by February 2014. The existing contracts will remain in place until expiry in December 2015,” ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker said.
“This will maintain stability in waste collection and the processing of recycling and organic waste.”
The ACCC has previously authorised similar conduct for groups of councils in NSW.
The councils participating in these joint tenders are Bathurst Regional Council, Blayney Shire Council, Blue Mountains City Council, Cabonne Council, Forbes Shire Council, Orange City Council, Parkes Shire Council and Wellington Council. These councils are located close to each other in the central and eastern subregions of NSW.
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 councils’ substantive application for authorisation.
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.
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