ACCC proposes to grant authorisation to Queensland councils for collective waste tendering

The ACCC has released a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to Central Highlands and Isaac Regional Council (the Applicants) to collectively tender and enter into a contract for the acquisition of waste collection services until 4 October 2029 (inclusive of any options to extend by one or both of the Applicants).

The Applicants seek authorisation to jointly procure services for the collection of kerbside and bulk bin waste and recyclables for domestic and commercial premises; the collection of public waste and recyclables; and the collection of public waste located at council facilities.

The Applicants have indicated they intend to engage in some aspects of this procurement process jointly, some on an individual basis, and other activities they will decide whether to engage in collectively once tenders have been evaluated. Authorisation enables the Applicants to engage in such activities collectively, should they decide to do so.

The ACCC is also proposing to authorise the Applicants to continue to give effect to their current waste collection contract, which was entered into following a previous authorisation (A91087). The current contract runs until 4 October 2019, but the authorisation for the contract would otherwise expire on 31 December 2018.

In addition, the ACCC has today granted interim authorisation in order to enable the Applicants to continue to give effect to the current contract beyond 31 December 2018 until the date the ACCC’s final determination comes into effect.

The ACCC invites interested parties to make a submission on the draft determination. The deadline for submissions is 9 January 2019.

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 their waste collection services, may otherwise breach competition laws.

Further information about the application for authorisation, including information about making a submission in response to the draft determination, is available on the ACCC’s authorisations public register.

Published date: 
17 December 2018