Ben Fordham has claimed Triple M radio host Lawrence Mooney knew the lockdown rules before going on a holiday in Byron Bay earlier this month.
On Thursday, Mooney was forced to issue a grovelling apology for breaking the rules, and said he felt ‘like a goose’ for ‘not realising’ he wasn’t allowed to holiday in the popular tourist town, when he should have been in lockdown at his home in the Southern Highlands.
In a stunning twist on Friday, 2GB host Fordham alleged the host was aware of the restrictions – before playing damming audio of Mooney reading out the lockdown rules on his show before jetting off to Byron Bay.
Shock claims: On Friday, 2GB host Ben Fordham sensationally claimed Lawrence Mooney knew the rules following his grovelling apology over breaching lockdown restrictions
‘I know Lawrence, he’s not a bad person but he’s had a shocker here,’ Fordham said.
‘He works in Sydney – he’s been busted holidaying in Byron Bay against the health orders.
‘There’s a problem. He did know he wasn’t allowed to travel to Byron Bay, and I’ll prove it to you right now..’
Fordham then shared audio of Mooney, 56, reading out the restrictions on June 24 – the day before he left for Byron Bay.
‘There’s a whole lot of government areas that have been deemed red zones in Sydney,’ Mooney said on-air.
Idyllic getaway: The Triple M radio host, who should be in lockdown at his home in the New South Wales Southern Highlands, had been staying at the coastal enclave for almost two weeks
‘If you live or work in those areas, you can’t leave those areas unless you are an essential worker that enters one of those areas, then you can leave that area in order to go home.
‘You have got to stay put. Gladys Berejiklian, our fearless Premier, said that she works in the city of Sydney obviously but she doesn’t live in one of those LGAs (local government areas).’
After playing the audio, Fordham said: ‘When he was busted, Lawrence Mooney said he feels like an absolute goose for not realising.
‘Lawrence, you knew you couldn’t go – you said it yourself! Busted. Lawrence Mooney, you can’t be serious.
‘Honest mistake’: Mooney said that he was under the impression that because he merely worked in metropolitan Sydney- rather than living there – he didn’t have to follow lockdown orders
‘When you get caught, you get caught. It doesn’t matter if you’re a rugby player or a radio host, you’ve got to cop the consequences.’
Daily Mail Australia have reached out to Triple M and Lawrence Mooney’s representatives for further comment.
It comes after Mooney told The Daily Telegraph that he’d breached lockdown by accident, as he didn’t think Sydney’s stay-at-home orders applied to him.
‘I know how serious this is and the impact lockdowns are having across the state and am very embarrassed by my misunderstanding and stuff up,’ he said.
‘I feel like an absolute goose for not realising I wasn’t permitted to travel to Byron Bay during my break.’
Error: ‘I mistakenly believed because my home is in a green zone and Byron Bay is in a green zone I could travel there,’ Mooney claimed
Calling the situation an ‘honest mistake’, Mooney explained that he was under the impression that because he merely worked in metropolitan Sydney – rather than living there – he didn’t have to follow lockdown orders.
‘I mistakenly believed because my home is in a green zone and Byron Bay is in a green zone I could travel there,’ he said.
Since his interview, Mooney has cancelled his holiday plans and returned home.
Mooney also noted that he’d taken a Covid-19 test before travelling to Byron Bay, and now plans to take one upon his arrival home in light of his ‘mistake’.
Precaution: Mooney also noted that he’d taken a Covid-19 test before travelling to Byron Bay, and now plans to take one upon his arrival home in light of his ‘mistake’