COVID-19

Businessman begs Queen to stop lockdown ‘carnage’

Bendigo businessman Paul Banks invoiced the government for $47,000 in lost earnings in June, but was never paid.Now in a bid to raise the plight of Victorians suffering through an unprecedented time in lockdown, he has targeted the Queen in a new TV commercial to air from Wednesday.“Your Majesty, please, stop the incompetence in Victoria. Stop the carnage. Stop the insults to our intelligence and livelihoods,” the ad says.“You have the Constitutional power to make heads roll. Please do it ma’am. This has to stop.”Mr Banks, an advertising guru who owns and operates Bendigo’s Fortuna Villa high tea and tours, says he’s been left tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket because of ongoing lockdowns.He issued two invoices totalling $47,119 to Daniel Andrews due to his ­“inability to create closure to regional Victoria and contact trace; hence not allowing Fortuna Villa to trade”.The invoices covered loss of income, catering expenses, hired equipment and stock dispersal for the lockdown period.And they take into account cancelled bookings for hundreds of patrons to his venue.Mr Banks had flagged legal action if the invoices went unpaid, but has opted instead for the royal advertising campaign.It is not the first campaign the advertising executive has launched against the government.Last year he led the Pan Dan campaign, encouraging people to open their doors and “grab a pan and pan Dan”.

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