Environmental Health

The following services are provided by the Shire to manage the public and environmental issues within the local community;

  • Food safety
  • Waste management (Refer to the separate waste management link)
  • Recycling (Refer to the separate waste management link)
  • Nuisance Noise Management
  • Pest control
  • Water quality monitoring (including Public swimming pool inspections and monitoring)
  • Lodging houses
  • Public buildings
  • Property compliance and nuisance issues
  • Infectious diseases

Food Safety

The Shire of Merredin undertakes the inspection for compliance and enforcement of food laws and standards applicable to commercial food businesses throughout the municipality.  It is a legal requirement that all food business notify the Shire of their intention to operate prior to commencement of the business activity.

ANZFA Food Business Notification Form

It is important that before you establish a food business that you have a sound understanding of food safety issues. An introductory online food safety course can be accessed from the following link. There are a variety of other courses available including those offered by TAFE institutions.

http://www.eh.org.au/resources/foodsafe

For information or for advice on the establishment of a Food Business, please contact the Shire Administration Office Ph: (08) 9041 1611 or email admin@merredin.wa.gov.au.

Food Complaints and Suspected Food Poisoning

Complaints concerning food, including suspected food poisoning or a foreign object within food should be reported to the Local Government where the food was purchased. This will generally be the Shire of Merredin and complaints regarding food purchased elsewhere can be referred via the Shire of Merredin.

Most food poisoning bacteria take 2-10 days to incubate and generate symptoms. Occasionally outbreaks caused by toxins can generate symptoms in a period of hours and in these cases more people consuming the food will generate symptoms. If you suspect food poisoning, any suspect food still in your possession should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator until an Environmental Health Officer can collect it for analysis. Details of the purchase of the food needs to be provided to the Investigating Officer, as does a list of all food consumed within the past 72 hours.

You should also consult your General Practitioner as soon as possible after symptoms commence, as confirmation of most food poisoning can only be obtained from laboratory analysis of faecal specimens.

Food Stalls and Fundraising

Persons organizing or participating in the conduct of food stalls and sausage sizzles should be aware that minimum food handling requirements apply. People handling food products should have a basic understanding of safe food handling practices including prevention of cross contamination, safe temperatures for potentially hazardous foods and staff hygiene practices. If you are unsure of these requirements please contact the Shire Administration Office to discuss your event.

The following guides are provided to assist organisers:

Guidelines for operating a sausage sizzle
Guidelines for operating a cake stall
Guidelines for operating a food stall

Home Production of Food for Sale

The manufacture of food for sale in a residence is generally not permitted.  Some exceptions of food production in residential premises exist for certain activities, however you must seek the Shire’s approval to conduct these activities.

These include; Bed and Breakfast establishments Cake Decoration Production of Jams and Pickles Other low risk food production as approved

For information on undertaking any of these activities or for advice on the establishment of a Food Business, please contact the Shire Administration Office Ph: 08 9041 1611 or email admin@merredin.wa.gov.au.

Nuisance Noise Management

The Shire of Merredin undertakes community noise control issues on behalf of the Department of Environment and Conservation.  The Shire has limited resources to do this however initial investigations and collation of evidence is undertaken with the assistance of residents where a person believes they are being subjected to ongoing nuisance noise.

Please note individual incidences of noise such as party noise should be referred to the Police in the first instance.

Where nuisance noise of an ongoing or intermittent nature is being experienced residents may download the following information and register a complaint.

Noise Investigation Request Package

Pest Control

Paper Wasps and European Wasps

Most wasps are Paper Wasps. Paper wasps are larger than a bee with a bright yellow and black (or yellow, orange and black) long, thin body. Paper wasps fly with their back legs hanging down and often hover.

Nests can be easily removed by spraying them thoroughly after dark with household fly spray or surface spray. Don’t approach the nest during daylight hours as wasps can be aggressive at these times. Then after a few minutes, scrape the nest into a plastic bag, tie it up and put in to the rubbish bin. Nests left unremoved will produce more queens to start nests the following spring.

European wasps are rarely seen and may have been eradicated in WA after being found in the Perth Metropolitan area in the 1990’s. They are black and yellow with thick black antennae and hold their legs close to body during flight. They fly very quickly and tend not to hover. Nests are rarely found and are in concealed locations (often underground), If you believe that you have seen a European Wasp or its nest contact the Agricultural Department of WA. Wasps sting repeatedly and it is hazardous to approach the nest. Do not attempt to treat the nest yourself.

Crows (Australian Ravens)

Crows or Australian Ravens as they are more correctly known can become a nuisance in and around built up areas. As native birds crows are a protected species and the Shire can not assist by baiting or culling crows. As scavengers and meat eaters they often seek out rubbish bins, pet bowls and dead animals as food sources. You can minimize nuisance crows around your home by making sure food sources are not accessible.

If envelopes are being pulled out of your letterbox, try putting margarine then pepper on an object such as a blank envelope and leave this protruding from your mailbox for several days. This should discourage this nuisance.

You can contact the Duty Officer at the Department of Environment and Conservation on 9041 2488 for further information.

Water Quality Monitoring

The Shire of Merredin undertakes monthly monitoring of public swimming pools and treated wastewater sources utilized to water parks and reserves throughout the Merredin townsite.  The Shire is unable to monitor residential water supplies or pools.

Lodging Houses

All lodging and temporary accommodation establishments need to approved by the Shire before being established.  Once approved those establishments that have beds for six (6) or more people, other than Hotels,  must be licensed annually by the Shire. Information on the Shires requirements for lodging houses can be found under Development Services/Local Laws/Local Law 12 - Health on this site.

Application for Lodging House License

Public Buildings

The Shire conducts regular audits of public buildings for compliance with relevant standards.

Property Compliance and Nuisance Issues

The Shire investigates issues under the Health Local Laws and related legislation pertaining to the condition of buildings, nuisances and the accumulation of rubbish refuse and disused materials.

Infectious Diseases (refer also information on food safety)

The Shire investigates notifiable infectious diseases including food and mosquito borne illnesses.  If you suspect you or someone you know may be suffering from a notifiable illness you should consult your Doctor in the first instance.

Further information on infectious diseases is readily available on the Department of Health - Environmental Health website.

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