UPDATE: Sunrise puts Gympie Bunnings in onion saga spotlight
UPDATE Thursday 10am:
A GYMPIE region man's talkback radio claim that he may have brought about the Aussie "Oniongate” scandal has stolen national headlines - even on this morning's Sunrise broadcast.
"Trevor”, now revealed to be a 65-year-old man from the Mary Valley, phoned into ABC Sunshine Coast's Breakfast with Robert Blackmore program and told the host he had slipped on a piece of onion and injured himself while visiting the Gympie Bunnings store on "a Sunday”.
Sunrise Queensland correspondent Bianca Stone revealed more details of the controversy "just when you thought this sausage saga had no more sizzle”.
"Trevor was compensated by the hardware giant after slipping on a stray onion three years ago,” she said.
"The 65-year-old walked into the Gympie Bunnings, slipped on that onion, he went in there to buy a whipper snipper, ended up falling backwards.
"He's told the ABC this is no laughing matter. He says 'every time I go into Bunnings I look on the floor - I look for onions'.”
Sunrise also quoted a Victorian woman named Diane Cook who claimed an onion slip in Bunnings "nearly cost me my career ... nearly my life”.
They then showed PM Scott Morrison weighing in on the scandal during conversations with New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern.
ABC reported late yesterday that Trevor, whose full name cannot be revealed, "signed a non-disclosure agreement with Bunnings after being compensated following a painful accident three years ago”.
"Trevor” said he had a panic attack on his return to Bunnings and kept "checking the floor for onions".
He claimed he later realised how seriously he had been injured and had to have an MRI to determine the damage done to his replacement hip.
He then pursued Bunnings "for the emotional stress the incident caused” and reportedly received the payout.
Asked about "Trevor's” claims, a Bunnings spokeswoman said yesterday afternoon they would provide a response within 24 hours.
COULD the cause of Australia's bizarre Bunnings sausage sizzle drama - in which occupational health and safety regulations demanded onions be placed on the bread before the sausage - lie in Gympie?
Social media feeds descended into madness yesterday after the national hardware giant announced the change came about due to a potential "slipping hazard” created by pieces of fallen onion, and talkback radio was no different.
READ MORE ON ONIONGATE
Numerous commentators chimed in on yesterday morning's episode of ABC Sunshine Coast's Breakfast with Robert Blackmore program, but it was a caller going by the name of "Trevor” who left the host most shocked.
Asked about his Oniongate "experience”, the man claimed he had slipped on a piece of onion and injured his back while visiting the Gympie Bunnings store on "a Sunday”.
"I wasn't eating it ... I walked into the store and it happened so fast. I had leather boots on, (R.M.) Williams boots on, and I went forward like a banana down on my back.”
"I wasn't too good at all ... I can't talk about it... they had to pay me out.”
Floored by the claim, Blackmore suggested "Trevor” may have been "the exact reason for this change”.
"(I had) a bit to do with it because I did push it pretty hard,” 'Trevor' responded.
"I went out of my way to try and stop them from letting people go into stores eating those onions.”
Bunnings chief operating officer Debbie Poole said "safety” was the reason for the change in a statement yesterday.
"Safety is always our number one priority and we recently introduced a suggestion that onion be placed underneath sausages to help prevent the onion from falling out and creating a slipping hazard,” Ms Poole said.
"This recommendation is provided to the community groups within their fundraising sausage sizzle welcome pack and is on display within the gazebos when barbecues are underway.
"Regardless of how you like your onion and snag, we are confident this new serving suggestion will not impact the delicious taste or great feeling you get when supporting your local community group.”
Bunnings did not immediately respond to requests for comment about "Trevor's” radio claims.