3 Sep 2013

Governor fixed on complete ban of betel nut from Port Moresby

7:33 pm on 3 September 2013

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's National Capital District says the selling and chewing of betel nut will be completely banned from its capital from next month.

Powes Parkop says because chewers have ignored warnings not to spit or litter betel nut, there now has to be a complete ban within the boundaries of Port Moresby.

Mr Parkop says the spitting of betel nut is not only making the city unclean, but causing the spread of tuberculosis - with more than six-thousand people suffering from the disease.

He says vendors and chewers will have to travel to markets in Laloki and Gaire, outside of the city, to buy, sell and chew betel nut.

He says he knows the plan will not be popular with some people.

"They can protest until the cows come home but it's not going to change my mind. I have to make this type of decision that some corners of our population might not accept - but it's good in the long-term for our capital city, our people and our nation, and the majority of residents will support this initiative."

Mr Parkop says there will be heavy fines for those who do not comply.