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'Funny story': Barnaby Joyce cops $200 fine for not wearing mask

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Barnaby Joyce has been fined $200 for breaching NSW COVID-19 public health orders after he was busted not wearing a mask while paying for petrol.

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Less than a week after being sworn in as deputy prime minister, Joyce was spotted not wearing a face mask inside a service station his home town of Armidale.

A member of the public dobbed in the Nationals leader after he was seen sans mask while paying for petrol after filling up at the bowser.

Police said they checked the service station’s CCTV and issued a $200 fine to a 54-year-old man for breaching an order under the NSW Public Health Act.

Joyce admitted to the breach on Sky News on Monday night, describing it as a “funny story”.

“You’ll like this story; I went into the Caltex service station. I was going to the airport. I forgot to get fuel for Vikki, fill the car up with fuel. Went in, 30 seconds later. Two hundred bucks, it cost me because I didn’t wear one of these. That’s life,” he said.

State Emergency Operations Controller, Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said it was just one of 54 breaches of NSW public health orders on Monday.

“Police were alerted to that. They took some action . That person was apologetic and co-operative with police and an infringement notice was issued,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

On the NSW mid north coast, a couple is facing assault charges after they allegedly started a fight after refusing to check in to a restaurant on Monday evening.

The 43-year-old man and 27-year-old woman were told they would have to leave the Forster restaurant if they didn’t sign in using the QR code.

The man punched the owner, leaving him with facial injuries and a suspected broken nose, police say.

The women allegedly bit a bystander who tried to intervene. He has bruising and bleeding to his bicep.

Meanwhile, a travel company copped a $5000 fine for taking three busloads of tourists to the Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo.

At least 76 of the 128 people on board the buses were not permitted to be outside Greater Sydney, police say.

Staff at the zoo refused to let the visitors off the bus and called the police.

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