Recycling tender process ends

Alex Crackett
Alex Crackett
A controversial recycling tender process has been ‘‘put to bed’’ after months of heated debate.

The Invercargill City Council yesterday voted to ask its chief executive to negotiate the Wastenet tender closure with the Southland and Gore district councils.

Cr Nobby Clark moved the motion, telling councillors

‘‘I think it’s time to put this tender to bed. I don’t see any advantages of this process comeback to Wastenet Advisory Group.’’

Before the debate could start, Cr Alex Crackett sought to send the matter into a public-excluded session.

When challenged, she said councillors received an email half an hour previously with ‘‘really important information’’.

The council discussed the material behind closed doors.

When the public returned, it was explained councillors had an email from Smart Environmental’s lawyer Wynn Williams.

The company, with Southland disAbility Enterprises (SDE), entered into the tender process.

The Southland and Gore district councils voted for Smart Environmental — Wastenet's preferred tenderer — but the Invercargill council did not support it.

In his email, Mr Williams asked for no further information relating to its tender to be released — and put the council on notice.

‘‘Smart has instructed us to formally put the Council on notice that if the RFP is closed without awarding a contract, Smart will consider every possible avenue to recover its costs and losses associated with the RFP from the Council.’’

Councillors approved the motion to end the recycling tender process without a contract being awarded.

Cr Biddle tried to move another motion seeking to have the contract with SDE extended for 12 or 24 months.

Closing the tender would not guarantee the jobs of the people with disabilities employed by SDE, and council should do something about it.

Councillors agreed to discuss the matter in the next council meeting.

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