The ACCC has released a final determination granting authorisation to Camden Council, Campbelltown City Council, Liverpool City Council, Wingecarribee Shire Council and Wollondilly Shire Council (the Applicants) to collectively tender and contract for waste processing services until 1 July 2044.
Compared to a situation where each council ran a separate tender process for these services, the ACCC concluded that the proposed collective tendering conduct is likely to result in public benefits by reducing transaction costs associated with contracting, and by generating ongoing contract management efficiencies. The ACCC also considered the long lead times involved, contract term and aggregation of waste volumes is likely to make tendering for such a contract more attractive and may therefore increase competition between waste processing providers. It may also assist the councils to meet their environmental goals sooner and at a lower cost by providing scope for the successful tenderer to develop more efficient or alternative waste technology.
The ACCC did not receive any submissions opposing the proposed conduct and was satisfied that the proposed conduct is unlikely to lessen competition or result in other public detriments.
The ACCC has also decided to authorise the Applicants (minus Liverpool City Council) to continue to give effect to their current processing contracts, which were entered into following a previous authorisation (A90886), until 31 May 2024. Authorisation for these current contracts would otherwise have expired in 2021.
Authorisation provides a legal exemption where the likely public benefits outweigh the likely public detriments. Collective tendering and contracting by the Applicants, who would otherwise be competing to acquire waste processing services, may otherwise breach competition laws.
Further information, including the ACCC’s determination, is available on the ACCC’s authorisation public register.