ACCC grants interim approval to Queensland coal producers to collectively bargain for water supply
Nov 15, 2012 (Menafn - M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) --The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted interim authorisation to allow Cockatoo Coal, Cuesta Coal, MetroCoal, Peabody Energy Australia PCI, QC Resource Investments and Whitehaven Coal to commence collective negotiations with SunWater for water supply and the development of the Nathan Dam project in central Queensland.
Interim authorisation also extends to the producers to collectively negotiate interim water supply arrangements with SunWater while the Nathan Dam is being constructed.
"This decision allows the coal producers and SunWater to step up current negotiations to aid the timely construction of the proposed Nathan Dam project," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
"It will also assist in avoiding unnecessary delays in the development of a series of coal mines in Queensland and related coal sales."
Interim authorisation only extends to any agreement entered into which contains a condition precedent, such that the agreement will not come into force unless final authorisation is granted by the ACCC.
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 an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment. Interim authorisation allows the parties to engage in the conduct prior to the ACCC considering the substantive merits of the application.
Further information about this application for authorisation and the granting of interim authorisation, including the reasons for the ACCC's decision, are available at www.accc.gov.au/AuthorisationsRegister
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