ACCC authorises collective waste tendering by two Queensland Councils

The ACCC has released a final determination granting authorisation to Central Highlands Regional Council and Isaac Regional Council (the Applicants) to jointly tender, and enter in a contract or contracts, for the acquisition of waste collection services until 4 October 2029.

Compared to a situation where each council ran a separate tender process for these services, the ACCC concluded that the proposed joint tendering conduct is likely to result in public benefits by reducing transaction costs associated with the tender and contracting process. Further, the ACCC considered that aggregation of the Applicants’ waste collection requirements is likely to result in improved efficiencies, including through economies of scale and collection route optimisation that could be achieved by potential service providers. The ACCC also considered that the opportunity to service both Applicants is likely to make tendering for such a contract more attractive and may therefore increase competition between waste collection providers.

There were no submissions opposing the proposed conduct. The ACCC was satisfied that the proposed conduct is unlikely to lessen competition and would likely result in minimal, if any, other public detriments. 

The ACCC has also decided to authorise the Applicants to continue to give effect to their current waste collection contract, which was entered into following a previous authorisation (A91087), until 4 October 2019.

Authorisation provides a legal exemption and can be granted where the likely public benefits outweigh the likely public detriments. Joint tendering and contracting by the Applicants, who would otherwise be competing to acquire waste collection services, may otherwise breach competition laws.

Further information, including the ACCC’s determination, is available on the ACCC’s authorisation public register.

Published date: 
1 February 2019