4 Feb 2009

PNG capital governor firm on betelnut ban

3:59 pm on 4 February 2009

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's National Capital District, Powes Parkop, says he is fed up with betelnut in the streets and tough penalties will be imposed on vendors in Port Moresby who don't comply with new restrictions.

At the moment, betelnut vendors are only being reminded of the ban which was declared last month, but many are still selling their cash crop openly on the streets and in markets.

The Governor says betelnut is not only bad for people's health, but also unsightly as consumers chew the crop only to spit it out on the footpath.

Governor Powes Parkop says targeting places where vendors can operate is one way to deal with the problem, by limiting sales to within private premises.

"Getting the vendors and their clients to change their ways, if they can take responsibility, the waste, they clean it up themselves, secondly they don' spit in public, 'they dispose of their waste in a way that's safe, clean and hygenic then we can move on from there. But until or unless they do that, I can't see how we can continue to tolerate this activity anymore."

Governor Powes Parkop says penalties, which are still being worked out, are going to be imposed in future if vendors continue to ignore the ban.