Jim’s Mowing chief executive and founder Jim Penman has called Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews the “worst political leader since federation”, in a scathing interview on the Today Show on Tuesday.
“This idea that he consults with business is ludicrous. It is a joke,” Penman said.
“He is an utter incompetent. He has stuffed the quarantine, he is stuffing the contact tracing, he is stuffing the testing. The only thing he is good at is trashing the Victorian economy.
“I cannot think of anybody remotely as bad as this.”
Penman said sole operators working for his franchises were not a threat to public health.
“Our industry is no threat to public health at all,” Penman told host Karl Stefanovic.
“A lone operator working alone in a garden is no threat to health. But, when you throw tens of thousands of people out of work without need, you talk about mental health issues, suicide, drug addiction, domestic violence and the rest.
“He should be tossed out by his own party.”
Penman penned a scathing letter to the Premier on Monday after Andrews announced lockdown would extended for a further fortnight - his second since the announcement of Stage Four restrictions.
“Premier, you will have blood on your hands,” Penman stated.
“Everyday I hear stories of misery and despair. Putting people out of work without need is a massive risk to health and wellbeing.
“I have one Franchisee whose son barely survived a suicide attempt. His daughter too is severely depressed...This extension has filled them with despair.”
Penman appealed to the Premier to “drop this senseless measure” and to “put human welfare” ahead of political advantage.
‘Highway to hell’
Australian businesses came out swinging after the Victorian government’s announcement, saying the state’s “roadmap to recovery” looked more like a “highway to hell”.
“This so-called road to recovery is actually a road to business closures and economic ruin,” Dean Long, chief executive of the Accommodation Association said.
“With apologies to AC/DC, the Victorian government is in fact providing Victoria’s accommodation providers with a highway to hell.”
Other businesses said it was becoming increasingly hard to stay positive with so much uncertainty.
“It’s really hard to stay positive and move forward not knowing if your business is going to survive another 10 weeks without face-to-fact trade,” Karen McAloon said. “But what choice do we have?”
Are you a millennial or Gen Z-er interested in joining a community where you can learn how to take control of your money? Join us at The Broke Millennials Club on Facebook!