ACCC proposes to grant authorisation to Melbourne councils for joint organic waste tender

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 2nd June 2014
The ACCC is proposing to grant authorisation to Melbourne councils for joint organic waste tender

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation for Metropolitan Melbourne Waste Management Group (MMWMG) and eight metropolitan Melbourne councils to jointly tender and enter into contracts for the supply of organic (food and gardening) waste processing services.

The councils are Bayside City Council, Cardinia Shire Council, Casey City Council, Frankston City Council, Glen Eira City Council, Greater Dandenong City Council, Kingston City Council and Monash City Council.

Organic wastes strategy for metropolitan Melbourne

The Victorian Government through MWMG in partnership with metropolitan councils has been building a “sustainable organics infrastructure network” for metropolitan Melbourne. This network will include the development of a network of new facilities in the north west, south east and east of metropolitan Melbourne.

The aim of the Metropolitan Organics Plan is to increase the recovery, processing and beneficial use of organic waste collected by metropolitan councils.

The plan is supported by a $3.8 million funding package that will support the development of new facilities and help develop viable markets for the end-product, composts and fertilisers.

Collective tender will be more ‘efficient’, ACCC

“The ACCC considers that the collective tender process is likely to result in a more efficient outcome and reduce transaction costs,” said Dr Jill Walker, ACCC Commissioner.

“There may also be environmental benefits from more efficient organic waste processing and a reduction in the amount of organic waste being placed in landfill,” Dr Walker said.

Authorisation provides immunity 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 authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.

The ACCC is proposing to grant authorisation for the joint tender for 18 years, comprising a three year period to complete the tender process and construct new processing facilities and a 15 year operating term. It is also proposing to grant interim authorisation to the councils to conclude the joint tender for the supply of organic waste processing services. The interim authorisation commences immediately and will remain in place until the date that the ACCC’s final determination comes into effect or is revoked.

The ACCC is seeking submissions from interested parties in relation to its draft determination, before making a final decision.

Australian Food News reported in August 2013 that several Melbourne restaurants were set to take part in another food waste recycling program that was supported in part by the Victorian Government’s ‘Sustainability Victoria’ program.