Jim’s Mowing: ‘I’ll cop the fine and fight it’
Jim's Mowing founder Jim Penman says there will be "widespread civil disobedience" if harsh stage 4 lockdown measures in Victoria are extended beyond September 13.
Top-secret documents leaked overnight revealed another two weeks of lockdown, but the mowing mandate said his contractors had vowed to work and fight fines if restrictions were pushed out.
Mr Penman previously said between 615-800 contractors across the state were losing about $3000 a week since the Premier's controversial workplace restrictions prevented cleaners and gardeners from working.
On Thursday, he told NCA NewsWire his contractors and franchisees "could not stand this any longer" and promised to fight their fines if they were slapped with infringements for breaching lockdown.
"They are desperate - most are getting no government support," Mr Penman said.
"We aren't objecting to masks, or social distancing - but the crazy overreach to ban us from doing our jobs when we have no contact with anyone while doing our jobs.
"It's just madness and has gone on long enough, and I have sought legal advice which I will be providing to any franchisee or contractor who receives a fine."
One of those franchisees Craig Sutton said he would be going out to jobs, even if lockdown restrictions - which prevented him from doing so - were extended beyond September 13.
"Regardless of the situation on Sunday I'll be going out and tending to my clients," he told NCA NewsWire.
"I'll be breaking the law, but I'll cop the fine and fight it and I don't sit alone on this - there are many others alongside me who will be doing the same.
"I'm not wanting to be a martyr. This isn't about Jim or money. The franchise is successful and always will be - we are doing this on behalf of the franchisors, the people who have trusted us and helped us get to where we are today - it's about what is right."
Mr Sutton said he had lost between $14,000-18,000 since lockdown started about five weeks ago.
"This is going to damage us bad," he said.
"I've recently just lost four clients - each worth about $11,000 - our clients are dropping and we can't afford to lose anymore.
"I've got 200 clients in Melbourne all screaming at me for their properties to be upgraded - we've even got elderly clients who aren't going outside because they're gardens are so ill-maintained they're scared of tripping over."
Premier Daniel Andrews said today "was not the day" to release what restrictions could be eased - if any - despite documents leaked overnight forecasting another fortnight of strict lockdown.
He said the draft document was "out of date" and "certain" details would be announced on September 6.
"The documents that have been the subject of a letter of interest over these last few hours are out of date and have no status," he said.
"We will on Sunday give people a clear road map with as much detail and as much certainty as we can possibly provide.
"It won't be guided simply by dates on the calendar, though, it will be guided by the science and the data. It will be guided by how many cases there are in Victoria and the types of cases."
Originally published as Jim's Mowing: 'I'll cop the fine and fight it'