Minister defends decision

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Minister of Revenue Tialavea Tionisio Hunt and M.P. Olo Fiti Va'ai.

Minister of Revenue Tialavea Tionisio Hunt and M.P. Olo Fiti Va'ai. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

The Chairman of the Liqour Board and the Minister of Revenue, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, has defended the decision to close Blacknose Night Club at the Faleata Race Course. 

Responding to questions from the Samoa Observer, Tialavea said the decision was the Liquor Control Board’s last option.

Last week, Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Vaai, questioned the decision.

“I will not tolerate unfairness coming from the Liquor Board,” he said. 

“I will take them to court if I have to, not because I want to, but because of the legality surrounding their reasons, which I find very insulting, to say the least.”

But Tialavea explained that this was not the first time the Liquor Control Board had closed the bar in question.

“We closed it down during the holidays and the decision came after numerous complaints and numerous warnings given to the bar owner about the loud noise. 

“The place is so exposed and therefore the sound system is not contained. 

“Families in the area have complained about the noise numerous times.”

The Chairman made it clear that the fights were not the main reason the Liquor Board had come to that conclusion.

“We agree with him, that other bars have had fights, but this was not the main reason. 

 “It’s the numerous warnings, yet nothing was done about the noise, so the board was left with no option but to close down the bar. 

“We have also informed the bar located on the SLC complex that they need to heed the warning that families nearby have filed official complaints. 

“This is a residential area and families need to have rest in the evenings and they cannot do that when the music from the bar is echoing in their residence. 

“Even this bar is widely open, and those running the bar need to bar it up, somehow, to contain the music within,” he said. 

“As far as I know, we are doing our mandate and if the bar owners want to challenge our decision in court, then do so.  If they win, then we will let the court deal with the complaints from the families in the vicinity,” said Tialavea. 

Back to the closing of the Blacknose last week, in a letter obtained by the Samoa Observer from the Secretary of the Liquor Board, Epi Leo Tuimauga, to Olo, dated 31 August 2017, the bar was ordered to be shut down right away.

 “The conclusion follows a written report from the Ministry of Police in relation to a incident involving security of Blacknose Bar, who assaulted a customer,” the letter reads. 

“The incident occurred on June 23 2017. This is not the first time that such an incident has occurred at the Blacknose Bar.

“It’s evident that you (Olo) do not adhere to the laws governing alcohol. The issues have been addressed to you directly, with the Board.

“For these reasons, you are asked to close down your Blacknose Bar,” said the letter. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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