By Jessica Anstice
Liberal Gembrook MP Brad Battin says he will stand with small businesses and call for them to open safely.
While he doesn’t encourage people to break the rules, Mr Battin has indicated support for Harry Hutchinson, the owner of Harry’s Clothing in Berwick.
Mr Hutchinson was slapped with an almost $10,000 fine for illegally operating his small business.
Having worked at Panther’s Mensland with Mr Hutchinson at age 15 when leaving school, Mr Battin claimed the small business owner has made his own calls and decisions.
“I don’t encourage people to break the rules, but I will stand with the small businesses who are at breaking point,” Mr Battin said.
“It’s not politics, it’s people lives, and the shops I have spoken to today are hurting and want to open safely.”
When asked by the Gazette if he is encouraging Mr Hutchinson’s motives for illegally reopening, he blatantly said “no”.
He said small businesses are getting “kicked around” by the State Government.
“I will stand with them and call for them to open safely,” he added.
“No one, not even the Chief Health Officer could explain why I can walk the aisles of Dan Murphy’s looking for my favourite gin, but not a clothes store looking for a shirt.
“It is about time people send a message to the government to let industry open safely.”
Mr Battin was seen delivering ‘Open Victoria’ posters small businesses in Berwick on Friday afternoon.