Central Coast reporter Skaie Hull was overheard ranting about Mr Barilaro as he took a question from another journalist during the virtual COVID-19 update on Tuesday.
Ms Hull’s complaints, to someone off-camera, came after she asked the Deputy Premier about whether COVID-19 patients from Western Sydney had been transferred to Gosford Hospital.
“Same thing, ‘scaremongering freakin rumours’. He turned his camera off on me, so I’m p***ed off,” Ms Hull was heard saying.
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“He purposely did that. I caught him fiddling around and he turned it off while replying to my question.”
Mr Barilaro was then forced to interject, alerting her to the fact her remarks had been heard by the entire Zoom call.
“Skaie, we can hear all that and that’s not correct, I didn’t turn off your camera. I was actually trying to find the next question,” he said.
“So Skaie, with everything you’ve said, I’m disappointed. And everyone else heard it as well, just letting you know.”
The awkward moment was shared to Twitter by another regional journalist, Samantha Costin.
A regional journalist has been caught complaining about Deputy Premier John Barilaro during a Zoom media conference. Picture Kym Smith
“Hot Tip: When in John Barilaro’s regional daily briefing with a few dozen other journos mute the mic before ranting to colleagues post questions,” she wrote alongside the snippet.
Ms Hull replied to the Twitter thread claiming there’s “a bigger back story”.
“I asked about patients being transferred from Western Sydney to Gosford Hospital,” she said.
“There’s a bigger back story and I’m definitely not a rumour spreading journalist – I’m a community voice.”
She also tweeted a video of the Deputy Premier, which showed him go off-camera during the Zoom call.
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“Decide for yourselves? Accident or on purpose,” she questioned.
Ms Hull had also asked about reports of a quarantine hospital at West Gosford but was shut down by Mr Barilaro.
“Firstly, I don’t speculate on gossip and rumour, I go off the information I’m given from health,” he said.
“This idea of a quarantine hospital, I don’t know. I can’t give you that answer.
NSW won’t enter another statewide lockdown after opening at 70 per cent: Barilaro
“No one is deliberately hiding this information from the public but as I often find out when things are raised, it’s nowhere near the truth.
“I don’t see what the issue is in relation to case numbers, vaccination, and the ability to manage those cases in the local hospital network.
“Anything outside of that is negative scare-mongering.”
Of the 1,127 coronavirus cases recorded in New South Wales on Tuesday, nine were in the Central Coast Local Health District.
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