NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Wednesday addressed speculation regarding the source of the first COVID-19 case recorded in Batemans Bay in more than a year.
In the 10 days since the new case, announced on Monday, September 6, five other cases have been recorded, all close contacts of the first.
Multiple unconfirmed reports suggested a person was released from Sydney's Parklea Correctional Centre, a known COVID-19 hotspot, attended a gathering in Batemans Bay and then tested positive to COVID-19.
On Wednesday, Mr Barilaro came as close as he would to confirming information about the source of the Batemans Bay COVID outbreak.
When Australian Community Media put to Mr Barilaro the source of the cases was a prisoner released from Parklea, who then attended a party, he said he couldn't talk about certain aspects of cases under privacy rules.
"This is one scenario where I'm not allowed, now I've said this before, locals have a very good understanding of what's occurring in their community," he said.
"There's probably a lot of chatter on the ground in Batemans Bay and on the South Coast and I would say rarely is it wrong - is it 100 per cent correct, maybe not - but it's in the ballpark."
MTC-Broadspectrum privately runs Parklea Correctional Centre and a spokesperson said appropriate health and safety measures were taken after "a number of cases of coronavirus" at the prison.
The spokesperson would not confirm if the first Batemans Bay case was linked to the Parklea outbreak.
"Inmates must be released as mandated by the court," the spokesperson said.
"All inmates who leave Parklea Correctional Centre are required to self-isolate for 14 days regardless of their COVID status."
The spokesperson said upon release, inmate details were provided to NSW Health, which was then responsible for ensuring they self-isolated.
NSW Health did not respond to questions regarding this case.