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Fines & imprisonment for vendors, chewers & littering in Betelnut Free Zones as law now enforced

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Betelnut vendors, consumers and those who litter in the Mendana Avenue, Hibiscus Avenue, Kukum Highway, Prince Phillip Highway, sporting venues and the places prescribed under the ordinance will now face fine and jailing. This is after the Honiara City Council had passed the Betelnut Free Zones Bill 2023 during its meeting on 26 October 2023.

A statement from HCC’s Media confirms that during an extraordinary full council meeting, the Acting Mayor Councilor (Cr) Robert Oge acknowledged the cooperation of the members of the council for working together to bring the bill to the final stage and thanked the national government for its tremendous support.

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The selling of betelnuts is prohibited in betelnut-free zones says the Deputy Mayor as well as the Chairman of the Law Enforcement Division, Cr. Oge.

“The betelnut-free zones in Honiara City are as follows; (a) Mendana Avenue, (b) Hibiscus Avenue, (c) Kukum Highway, (d) Prince Phillip Highway,(e) Markets established under section 4 of the Honiara City Council Market Ordinance, (f) Any facility or venue accessed or use for sporting activities by the general public, (g) Any school or organization operating under the Honiara City Council; and (h) Any other areas the council approves,” Acting Lord Mayor and Chairman for Law Enforcement Division explained.

He said the offences of selling betelnuts at the betelnut-free zones are as listed below.

  • A person who consumes betelnuts on public transport in a betelnut-free zone or anywhere in a betelnut-free zone commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 1,000 ($1,000) penalty units or 6 months imprisonment.

  • A person who litters in a betelnut-free zone or a public place commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 1,000 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment.

  • A person who sells betelnuts in a betelnut-free zone or a public place commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 5,000 ($5,000) penalty units or 3 years imprisonment.

Acting Mayor Councillor Oge urged the Honiara residents and the visiting public to adhere to the Honiara City Council Ordinances.

He said it is very important for the Honiara residents and the visiting public to work together with the Honiara City Council to ensure the city is clean, safe, and beautiful for the games and beyond.

The law was passed in Parliament purposely to ensure Honiara is clean for the 2023 Pacific Games.

Honiara City Council law-enforcers have been going around Honiara dismantling betelnut stalls as part of its crackdown on street-sellers and to enforce the ordinance.

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