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Café owner sues Victorian government

A Victorian café owner filed a suit in the Victorian Supreme court on Tuesday stating that stage four restrictions has led to her losing 99 per cent of her business.

A 21-year-old man is also seeking damages for lost income and anxiety.

Michelle Loielo, owner of Mornington Peninsula café Capel Sound café, has stated that she usually brings in up to $20,000 a week, however made only $400 last week. 

The widowed mother of three fears she may now lose her house.

Ms Loielo claims that being the sole financial provider for her children has put tremendous strain on her and she is concerned she will not be able to provide for her children should this situation continue.

On 8 August, Ms Loielo posted on her restaurant website that the industry had taken an “absolute beating” in 2020 and she had to rethink everything to do with her business.

“To this end, I have become heavily involved in local politics and discussions and am even taking a crack at being preselected to run for the next state election in the seat of Nepean for the Liberal Party,” she wrote as she plans to seek pre-selection for the Liberal Party.

The stage 4 restrictions have been detrimental to hospitality owners, since they started on 2 July. The original curfew in place from 8pm to 5am has been relaxed this week by one hour, meaning curfew now starts at 9pm, with the potential for further lockdown concessions from 28 September.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, 21 year old Jordan Roberts filed a class action in the Supreme Court seeking damages for lost income, anxiety and depression.

The class action is filed by Melbourne lawyer Tony Carbone. It alleges defendants such as  ministers Jenny Mikakos and Martin Pakula, have breached a duty of care that they owed to the community through hotel quarantine program failures.

Carbone told AAP, “A lot of employers speaking to me are keeping employees on artificially because of JobKeeper and the reality is when JobKeeper kicks out, I just think the number of people made redundant or retrenched will be horrendous.” 

In addition to this, Mr Carbone is running other class actions over COVID outbreaks at the St Basils and Epping Gardens aged care homes.



Irit Jackson, 17th August 2020