Jim Penman of Jim’s Mowing fame – yep, he’s a real dude – has come out swinging at the Victorian government over its Stage 4 lockdown restrictions
Speaking on ABC News Breakfast through a literal headset, Penman complained that Premier Daniel Andrews was being too hard on lawn mowers or whatever.
Here’s what Andrews said in the first place: “There’ll be no cleaners going to your house, there’ll be no one mowing the lawns.”
This, Penman said, was actually going beyond the reach of what the restrictions actually say.
“What the problem is, is that the premier said something which is against the advice of his own department,” Penman said.
The founder of Jim’s Mowing, Jim Penman, is encouraging his franchisees to keep operating in Melbourne despite Premier Daniel Andrews saying those services must stop.— News Breakfast (@BreakfastNews) August 4, 2020
Mr Penman says the official guidelines suggest they can keep operating he believes it's safe to do so. pic.twitter.com/mwd4nG5ml3
ABC anchor Lisa Millar tried to explain that maybe this isn’t the best time to be arguing over semantics.
“Even the franchisee’s group have said ‘look you’re pushing it too far’, maybe there might’ve been some confusion by the Premier, but the spirit of it – he wants people off the road, he doesn’t want anyone connecting with others, he doesn’t want people turning up to clear hedges and lawn and having contact with others,” she said.
To this, Jim Penman of Jim’s Mowing gave the most on-brand reply (both literally and metaphorically) ever.
“The point I’d like to make though, is there’s nothing really more safe than going out mowing lawns,” he said. Classic Jim.
“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 the people.”
An official document released by the Victorian government makes clear that “residential repair and maintenance” can only continue under lockdown restrictions “by exception”.
The only kind of grounds keeping or mowing-adjacent activity that’s allowed under a blanket rule is “essential maintenance for safety and upkeep of public and recreational spaces”. In other words, you can mow a golf course so it doesn’t fall into disrepair.
The grass will still be there after lockdowns, Jim.