Description of Conduct
On 18 December 2020 Morgan Sawmill Jamestown lodged an application seeking authorisation for itself, SA Pine Pty Ltd, KSI Sawmill, PalletCo, Harvestco (the Initial Group) and other businesses that acquire unprocessed timber logs from the South Australian Forestry Corporation (ForestrySA) to collectively negotiate terms and conditions concerning the supply of logs from the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia. In particular, the collective bargaining group proposed to discuss:
- Prices per grade of log.
- Period of supply.
- Log volumes.
- Delivery and collection locations.
- Log specifications.
- The rate at which logs would be collected (m3 or tonnes per week).
- Incidental matters (e.g. when fire affected logs would be rejected, measurement methodology, insurance requirements, payment terms, security).
Authorisation was sought for 20 years.
Morgan Sawmill also requested interim authorisation to allow the collective bargaining group to engage in the proposed conduct while the ACCC considers the substantive application for authorisation. Specifically, Morgan Sawmill sought interim authorisation to:
(a) Engage in collective bargaining activities to negotiate the terms of log supply with ForestrySA
b) Enter into supply agreements with ForestrySA pursuant to the collective bargaining negotiations, and
c) Give effect to, or being knowingly involved in the negotiation of log supply agreements.
On 12 February 2021 the ACCC granted interim authorisation for the proposed collective bargaining group to commence discussions and negotiations concerning the supply of logs from the Mount Lofty Reserve in South Australia. Interim authorisation does not extend to discussions on pricing or allow the group to enter into or give effect to any log sales agreements with ForestrySA. The ACCC also imposed a condition requiring that it be notified in advance of any business other than Morgan Sawmill Jamestown, SA Pine Pty Ltd, KSI Sawmill, PalletCo and/or Harvestco participating in the collective bargaining group. A copy of the interim authorisation is available below.
On 26 March Morgan Sawmill requested that interim authorisation be expanded to allow the collective bargaining group to be able to discuss prices when the draft determination issues. The ACCC decided not to grant this request and its reasons for this decision are set out in the draft determination, below.
On 3 June 2021 the ACCC issued a determination granting authorisation until 30 June 2032 with a condition requiring that Morgan Sawmill notify the ACCC 30 days before any business beyond the Initial Group joins the collective bargaining group.
Further information about the ACCC’s decision is available in the Decisions section below.
- Edward John Morgan as Trustee for the Ed Morgan Family Trust
- Luke Laurence Morgan as Trustee for the Luke Morgan Family Trust
Applications - supporting documents
Submissions - before draft decision
Submissions - after draft decision