The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted authorisation to eight regional councils in New South Wales to enable them to jointly tender and contract for waste collection services and recyclables and organic waste processing services.
The authorisation is for 13 years. The Councils intend to complete the tender process by the end of 2014 and enter into 10 year contracts for each of the services commencing in 2016.
The councils participating in this joint tender 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 in close proximity to each other in the central and eastern subregions of NSW.
“The ACCC considers that the authorised conduct is likely to result in public benefits, including transaction cost savings and better purchasing power for the Councils, and limited public detriment,” ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker said.
In reaching this view, the ACCC consulted with a range of interested parties including waste services providers, local councils, industry associations and government authorities.
“The submissions received by the ACCC were supportive of the joint tender and no concerns were raised by waste services providers,” Dr Walker said.
A feature of the authorised conduct is that the Councils have the ability to choose whether they want to accept an offer which is made on a regional basis or pursue an individual contract. The ACCC has previously authorised similar conduct for groups of councils in NSW.
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.
More information about the application for authorisation, including a copy of the ACCC's determination and public submissions, will be available at www.accc.gov.au/AuthorisationsRegister.
Use this form to make a general enquiry.