ACCC approves waste recycling joint tender for Hunter councils
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted interim authorisation to allow Hunter Resource Recovery to run a joint tender process for recycling services on behalf of the Cessnock City Council, Lake Macquarie City Council, Maitland City Council and Singleton Council.
This will be beneficial to the councils as the current recycling contract has been extended once and is nearing conclusion.
This interim authorisation will allow the councils and Hunter Resource Recovery to invite tenders and evaluate any tenders received. Interim authorisation does not extend to allowing the councils or Hunter Resource Recovery to sign a contract with the successful tenderer.
Interim authorisation does not bind the ACCC in its consideration of the substantive application for authorisation. The ACCC will issue its draft determination regarding the authorisation application shortly.
The ACCC has previously considered and approved applications for authorisation of similar arrangements from groups of Queensland and other NSW councils.
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. The ACCC conducts a comprehensive public consultation process and issues a draft determination before making a final determination to grant or deny authorisation.
Further information, including the application and public submissions, can be found on the ACCC's public register at www.accc.gov.au/AuthorisationsRegister.