Media Statement: 1 May 2024 Temporary Closure of Norseman Men’s Shed Facility

Published on Wednesday, 1 May 2024 at 10:05:02 AM

Temporary Closure of Norseman Men’s Shed Facility


Men's Sheds Australia-wide are dedicated to promoting good mental health and well-being initiatives, which the Shire of Dundas Council support. Since establishing the Norseman Men’s Shed, the Shire has provided resources and funding including the facility, utilities and maintenance, consultant fees for grant applications, building improvements including kitchen, sliding doors, disability ramps, and outdoor works.


Recently concerns arose regarding activities at the Norseman Men's Shed when a routine building inspection discovered brewing distilling equipment set up in the men's toilet.


Upon this discovery, the Liquor Enforcement Unit from Kalgoorlie, in collaboration with the Shire, conducted an inspection of the activities, and the contents were neutralised. To the Shire's knowledge, another batch was prepared instead of ceasing this activity.


Not only does the brewing/distilling of alcohol on the premises contradict good mental health and well-being practices, but it also raises implications for the Shire's insurance policies.


It's important to note that in Western Australia, distilling alcohol without a license is illegal, irrespective of the quantity produced, including any amount over or under 5 litres in public buildings. This regulation is in place due to safety concerns, taxation, and health regulations.


While owning distillation equipment is legal, using it to produce distilled alcohol without the appropriate license violates the Distillation Act of 1901. Offenders could face severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment.


The Shire is actively collaborating with Containers for Change and Men's Shed WA to minimise disruptions as much as possible, and to support the committee to better understand its work, health and safety obligations.  


Regarding producing spirits for personal or commercial use in a public building, it is imperative to obtain a license from the relevant authorities, such as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and comply with all local laws and regulations regarding alcohol production and distribution.


The Shire also has concerns regarding activities not meeting the following requirements:

  1. WHS WALW - Work Health and Safety Act 2020 - Home Page ( and alcohol and the law | Western Australia Police Force
  2. Food Act 2008 WALW - Food Act 2008 - Home Page (
  3. Liquor Control Act WALW - Liquor Control Act 1988 - Home Page (
  4. Health Act 2026 WALW - Public Health Act 2016 - Home Page (


The Shire looks forward to working with the Norseman Men's Shed Committee to address these concerns, and to expedite the reopening of this facility.



Peter Fitchat

Chief Executive Officer



All media enquires should be directed to Shire of Dundas CEO Peter Fitchat

by calling 9039 1205 or email