27 January 2016


Cr Fraser – On 14 December 2015, on an oral motion proposed by Cr Gibb in a confidential session of Council, Council effectively reversed its settled policy commitment to carbon neutrality resolved by this Council on 24 November 2014.

We know that the Rye landfill produces 48 % of this Shires greenhouse gas footprint and that significant capital works will be required so as to expand its capacity by the creation of a new landfill cell after 30 June 2018. This presents Council with an ideal opportunity to review the disposal of its municipal kerbside waste and to consider closing it for landfill after 30 June 2018.

Council has further developed its commitment to carbon neutrality with business cases which are now on public exhibition and Council further resolved on 14 September to seek expressions of interest for the disposal of municipal kerbside waste other than to the Rye landfill.

Council intended this 14 December 2015 resolution to solicit the widest possible response from a competitive market. The Shire is geographically diverse and complex with larger urban concentrations of households in Mornington and Mt Eliza which are equidistant from the Rye landfill and, for example, the commercial landfills at Lyndhurst or Hallam. This adds a degree of complexity to this task and to the market in most efficiently moulding of any response to the EOI.

However, this EOI process to the market was compromised when management, without authority from Council, advertised EOI conditions requiring EOI requiring only the provision of alternative landfills and that a bulk haul facility was to be provided by the expressionors.

This, of course, distorted the market discouraging EOI from providers of Alternative Waste Technologies requiring, as it did, EOI only from providers of landfill.  The requirement as to the provision of a bulk haul facility also distorted the market most favourably towards those landfills at the greatest reasonable distance from sources of shire waste – for example, Sunbury, Werribee, Woolert and Ravenhaul some 125-160 km from Rye.  It also distorts the market least favourably against landfills at Lyndhurst and Hallam some 65-70 km from Rye. All expressionors have to factor in to their EOI price the capital cost of providing a transfer facility in the Shire.

Unsurprisingly, the EOI returned a band of uncompetitive ceiling prices consistent with this market distortion.

In my opinion the market has been misled and the Expression of Interest process has miscarried and the resolution of 14 December 2015 ought to be set aside on this basis alone.

But there is more: the ceiling price of off shiring kerbside municipal waste has been problematic and varied enormously since first floated by management back in 2014

This was compounded when management left out of the floor price the cost of purchasing carbon credits. The floor price is an issue yet to be determined.

Equally, the ongoing emissions profile of the Rye landfill has been problematic and varied from time to time. Three emissions graphs were produced by management , the first incomplete, the second later denounced by management as a mistake and the third on any view established that if Rye closes to landfill in 2018 the emissions reduction will be 75% by 2050. An intergenerational problem could be solved by this Council.

However, Council has now resolved on 14 December 2015 to go to tender to an uncompetitive market as to only Alternative Waste Technologies. The Rye landfill is to remain open until we have an AWT that is economically and environmentally viable option.

Precatory though this may be, there is no evidence to support the availability of this option on a short to medium term basis. Indeed, our Team Leader Renewable Resources referred to eight years in the Chamber this evening. This 14 December resolution is a claytons resolution on the basis of the one non-conforming Alternative Waste Treatment expression of interest obtained from a misled market.

I do not believe that this resolution has a basis for compliance with section 186 of the Local Government Act nor does it comply with our Procurement Policy amended as recently as 23 November 2015 to include provisions as to carbon neutrality. How this has escaped the Risk Management Processes of the Shire is a matter for investigation by the Audit Committee.

In my opinion the resolution of the 14 December 2015 is so unsafe and so unsound that it ought to be revoked or rescinded as I have so moved and proceed to tender for the disposal of kerbside municipal waste other than to the Rye Landfill.