ACCC takes action against alleged roof tiling cartel participants

25 October 2021

The ACCC has instituted civil proceedings in the Federal Court against two Sydney roof tiling businesses, First Class Slate Roofing (First Class) and RAD Roofing Specialists (trading as Mr Shingles), and their sole directors, Scott Barton of First Class, and Damian Hand of Mr Shingles, for alleged cartel conduct.

First Class and Mr Shingles are providers of slate roofing works in Sydney and its surrounds.

“The ACCC alleges that First Class, Mr Shingles and their respective sole directors colluded to rig bids for tenders in exchange for cash payments at two construction projects,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

The ACCC’s allegations also include that, in August 2019, First Class and Mr Shingles engaged in bid rigging for the supply of slate roofing services at the Wesley College at the University of Sydney.

It is alleged that the purpose of the bid rigging was to increase the likelihood that First Class would win a tender for supplying Wesley College in exchange for a cash payment from First Class to Mr Shingles. First Class ultimately won the Wesley College tender.

It is also alleged that in September 2019, First Class and Mr Shingles also engaged in bid rigging in relation to a tender for a residential building project in Sydney’s Bellevue Hill.

It is the ACCC’s case that the purpose of rigging the Bellevue Hill Tender was to ensure that Mr Shingles would be more likely to be the successful tenderer, which Mr Shingles eventually won.

The ACCC also alleges that the cash payment Mr Shingles was to pay First Class for bid rigging the Bellevue Hill tender was offset by the money it was due to receive for rigging the Wesley College tender.

“This case demonstrates how cartel conduct, such as bid rigging, corrupts the competitive process and has the potential to artificially inflate prices for customers,” Mr Sims said.

“The ACCC takes allegations of cartel conduct very seriously, and will not hesitate to take strong enforcement action against any company or individual who engages in this type of conduct.”

“Enforcing cartel laws is an enduring priority for the ACCC,” Mr Sims said.

The ACCC is seeking penalties, declaration, injunctions, and disqualification orders against Mr Barton and Mr Hand.

Notes to editor:

Bid rigging occurs when two or more competitors agree they will not compete genuinely with each other for tenders, allowing one of the cartel members to ‘win’ the tender. Participants in a bid rigging cartel may take turns to be the ‘winner’ by agreeing about the way they submit tenders, including some competitors agreeing not to tender.

More information on bid rigging can be found on the ACCC’s website: Bid rigging

The ACCC investigates cartel conduct and takes civil cartel proceedings in the Federal Court.

Anyone with information about cartel conduct, including in the construction industry, is urged to call the ACCC Cartel Hotline on (02) 9230 3894. You can also report cartel conduct anonymously.

Background:

First Class provides construction, replacement and repair of slate roofs for residential, commercial and heritage buildings. It is based in Sydney and provides these services to customers including universities and schools.

Mr Shingles provides construction, replacement and repair of slate roofs for residential, commercial and heritage buildings. It is based in Sydney.

The project at Wesley College involved the re-roofing of the Wesley College’s main roof.

The Bellevue Hill project involved slate roofing works on a residential building in Bellevue Hill in Sydney in around September 2019.

Slate roofing is common in older building, such as universities, schools and church buildings. The installation and repair of slate roofing requires specialised skill and labour.

Concise Statement

The attached documents below contain the ACCC’s initiating court documents in relation to this matter. We will not be uploading further documents in the event these initial documents are subsequently amended.

ACCC v First Class Slate Roofing Pty Ltd & ORS _ Concise Statement ( PDF 461.82 KB )

Release number: 
160/21
ACCC Infocentre: 

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Media enquiries: 
Media Team - 1300 138 917, media@accc.gov.au

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