ACCC proposes to allow Sydney councils to collectively tender with waste management providers

23 June 2004

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued draft decisions proposing to authorise* two groups of Sydney councils to collectively tender for the provision of waste management services, ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said today.

A group of councils in the Macarthur region of Sydney has sought authorisation to collectively tender for contractors to receive and dispose of their ratepayers' kerbside collected waste.

Another group of councils in the Northern region of Sydney has sought authorisation to collectively tender for contractors to receive and dispose of light commercial and domestic waste only.

"The ACCC considers that any anti-competitive detriment that may follow from the proposed collective tendering arrangements is likely to be minimal. 

"The ACCC sees benefits in allowing these councils to collectively tender with waste management providers", Mr Samuel said. "The ACCC considers that a co-ordinated approach to the councils' waste management services will result in service efficiencies which will be reflected in a lower domestic waste management charge to ratepayers.

"In addition, in the case of the councils in the Northern region of Sydney, where competition for the provision of the services the subject of the collective tendering arrangements is currently extremely limited, the arrangements will provide an incentive for new providers to compete to supply these services to the councils".

The ACCC also considers that the proposed collective tenders may produce environmental benefits by providing incentives for the development of alternative waste technologies to the current reliance on landfill for waste disposal more immediately than may have otherwise been the case and, in the case of the Macarthur region contracts, an increase in the amount of materials recycled.

The ACCC will consult on its draft decisions before making final decisions in the future.  Parties wishing to make a submission to the ACCC on this issue should contact the ACCC for further details.

The councils covered by the two draft decisions are: Northern region of Sydney - Hornsby Shire Council, Hunters Hill Municipal Council, Lane Cove Council, North Sydney Council, the City of Ryde, Willoughby City Council, Mosman Municipal Council and Warringah Council; and Macarthur region of Sydney - Council of Camden, Campbelltown City Council, Liverpool City Council, Wollondilly Shire Council and Wingecarribee Shire Council.

Release number: 
MR 099/04
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