Jim’s Mowing founder, Jim Penman, has again focused on Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews over his ban on mowers during the lockout of Stage 4 coronavirus.
Mr Penman told Sunrise that he believed the decision of the Premier to declare lawn mowing a non-essential service “is a ridiculous measure that has caused misery to tens of thousand of Victorians.”
“I would defy the Premier to name one person in Australia, New Zealand or anywhere in the world who has caused or caught an infection while working alone in someone’s garden,” he said on Thursday.
“We totally support the wearing of masks and other measures to control this infection, what we’re saying is what the Premier has done is he’s ruling as a tyrant.”
The businessman said he was not urging staff to violate the lockdown laws, pointing out that Victoria ‘s Department of Health and Human Services advice suggests that single operators will continue to mow lawns during lockdown.
“We are not encouraging anybody to defy the law, never have,” he explained.
“What we’ve said is the Premier has sent out detailed instructions under stage four, about what is legally possible and what is not, including the fact that sole operators are allowed to operate.”
“We’ve asked our franchisees to abide by that.”
Earlier, Mr Andrews reiterated his view that Jim’s Mowing was not an essential service under Melbourne’s strict virus rules.
“They are not permitted workers,” he said.
“Unless, of course, they are providing emergency work. Lawns are not getting mowed, people are not getting haircuts, we are all making sacrifices. I’m not in anyway wanting to diminish the pain and challenge for that business and those workers.”
Under new rules announced by the Victoria Government, anyone caught breaking the state’s COVID-19 rules can be hit with a $4,957 fine.