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Owner of Jim’s Mowing says he will keep mowing lawns in Melbourne despite lockdown

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The founder of Jim’s Mowing has vowed to keep his business operating in Melbourne despite the shut-down orders from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. 

Lawn mowing businesses are among the list of businesses banned from operating during the strict six-week lockdown.

‘There’ll be no cleaners going to your house … there’ll be no-one mowing your lawns,’ Mr Andrews said on Tuesday.

‘There’ll be no-one providing anything, other than emergency support.’

But self-made millionaire David Penman, who founded Jim’s Mowing, said he would continue mowing lawns and has even offered to pay the fines of any contractors caught out.

He argued that there was ‘nothing more safe than going out and mowing lawns’. 

‘If you throw tens of thousands of Australians out of work and they all go home, what are they going to do? They’re going to go down the bottle shop,’ he told ABC News Breakfast.

Harsher restrictions includes an 8pm until 5am curfew and a ban on leaving your home unless for essential reasons (pictured: The Bolte Bridge during the first night of curfew on Sunday)

Harsher restrictions includes an 8pm until 5am curfew and a ban on leaving your home unless for essential reasons (pictured: The Bolte Bridge during the first night of curfew on Sunday)

Melbourne is now enduring the country's most restrictive virus-control measures (Pictured: Police officers and soldiers patrol a popular running track in Melbourne)

Melbourne is now enduring the country’s most restrictive virus-control measures (Pictured: Police officers and soldiers patrol a popular running track in Melbourne)

‘You don’t have contact with the public, we have electronic payments, you’re not seeing people, you’re not with people, you’re not near people. 

‘Our people travel by car from one job to another. There’s no reason for them to come within 10 metres of any member of the public in what they’re doing. So there’s no lack of safety.

Mr Penman – who calls himself an ‘accidental millionaire’ – said the premier was making the rules confusing.

He claimed Mr Andrew’s advice goes against the department of health guidelines. 

‘The problem is that the premier said something which is against the advice of his own department,’ Mr Penman said.

He suggested the government ‘change the guidelines and don’t give two messages’.

The Stage Four guidelines allows for grounds maintenance to remain operating with a COVID Safe plan in place. 

But that is only as long as it is ‘providing support to an essential industry or where required to maintain the health and safety of Victorians at home or at work’. 

Founder of Jim's Mowing, David Penman (pictured left), has vowed to keep his business operating in Melbourne despite the shut-down orders from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews

Founder of Jim’s Mowing, David Penman (pictured left), has vowed to keep his business operating in Melbourne despite the shut-down orders from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews

Mr Penman, who calls himself an 'accidental millionaire', argued that there was 'nothing more safe than going out and mowing lawns'

Mr Penman, who calls himself an ‘accidental millionaire’, argued that there was ‘nothing more safe than going out and mowing lawns’ 

Victoria Police Commissioner Shane Patton said it was ‘disappointing’ to hear that someone planned to deliberately flaunt the directions.

‘We’ll deal with every incident on a case-by-case basis when we become alerted to it through the police assistance line.’

Melbourne was placed under a stage four lockdown on Sunday for six weeks in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19, which is threatening to sweep across the state.

Harsher restrictions include an 8pm until 5am curfew and a ban on leaving your home unless for work, exercise, perform care or to visit the shops at other times.

Residents must requirement to wear a mask outdoors or be fined $200, and they are only allowed to shop or exercise within 5km of their homes. 

Under Stage Four, department stores like Myer, David Jones, Target, Big W, and Kmart will all be forced to close – but can sell online and have customers pick up their orders.

A police car is seen outside Flinders Street Station after a citywide curfew is enforced in Melbourne

A police car is seen outside Flinders Street Station after a citywide curfew is enforced in Melbourne

Flinders Street Station is almost empty as the strict lockdown in Melbourne begins

Flinders Street Station is almost empty as the strict lockdown in Melbourne begins

Bunnings will be closed to everyone except tradespeople, but as with retailers, other customers will be able to order online and pick up at the store.

Supermarkets, grocery stores, butchers, bakers, chemists and other essential services will remain open.

Also on the shutdown list are shops selling furniture, homewares, electircal, recreational goods, clothing and shoes, florists, and antiques.

Sales of vehicles, new and used, and car parts will close but mechanics allowed to stay open to keep essential services on the road.

Pharmacies, post offices, banks, petrol stations, bottle shops, and a small list of other businesses will be spared.

The financial fallout of the lockdown is predicted to be upwards of $25billion for Victoria alone. 

CRACKDOWN FOR VICTORIAN ISOLATION BREACHES: 

 A fine of $4,957 for failing to self-isolate for a second or subsequent time – the highest on-the-spot penalty available to Victoria Police

Police can also take offenders to court, where they face a fine of up to $20,000

People who have tested positive or who are close contacts can no longer leave their homes for exercise

An additional 250 sworn officers joining Operation Sentinel, which polices Victoria’s coronavirus rules

More than 500 ADF personnel and 300 authorised officers joining Operation Vestige, which is the door-knocking of people who have tested positive or are close contacts to ensure they are self-isolating

More than 4000 home visits every day from next week

Of about 3000 door knocks so far, in more than 800 cases the person supposed to be isolating was not at home

As part of the stage-four lockdown, from midnight Wednesday workers in permitted industries who cannot work from home must carry a signed permit when travelling to and from their jobs

People already can be fined $1,652 in Victoria for breaking coronavirus rules and $200 for not wearing a mask in public.

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