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Farid Farid

NSW minister COVID status 'inconclusive'

A parliamentary inquiry came to no conclusion on Brad Hazzard's COVID-19 contact status at an event. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard's status as a casual COVID-19 contact who might have broken social isolation rules is inconclusive, a parliamentary inquiry has found.

The outgoing minister was accused of receiving preferential treatment by NSW Health contact tracers, after avoiding mandatory isolation despite allegedly having contact with Nationals MP Adam Marshall during a dinner in June 2021.

Mr Marshall later tested positive for COVID-19.

A parliamentary committee on Thursday said "it was not possible to make a conclusive finding about the classification of Mr Hazzard as a casual contact".

"The evidence before the committee produced contradictory accounts of what precisely occurred between Mr Marshall and Mr Hazzard at the function on 22 June 2021, that were not able to be reconciled," the 228-page report said.

The public health order at the time stipulated that close contacts of persons diagnosed with COVID-19 should self-isolate for 14 days.

The inquiry, established by One Nation MP Mark Latham and Labor's Greg Donnelly, held one hearing last month and was told there was a misalignment between Mr Hazzard and Mr Marshall's versions of events.

Mr Marshall told the inquiry the pair had spoken at close quarters, while Mr Hazzard said there had been no contact.

The health minister's claims were supported by other witnesses.

The 2021 function was a NSW Nationals party after-budget event in parliament including MPs, catering staff and business leaders.

Days later NSW imposed strict stay-at-home orders for Greater Sydney that ultimately lasted 107 days in total as successive waves of the virus raged on.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant defended the contact tracing process under questioning from Mr Latham, saying the process was "very thorough".

"The contact tracing process was a robust one," Dr Chant said.

Mr Hazzard wrote a letter to the committee last week "accusing it of a disturbing lack of integrity" for suppressing evidence.

"I remind the committee that the genesis of this inquiry was a spurious claim that I had shaken hands with Adam Marshall at the event in question," he wrote.

"It should also be noted that this will be the first time in the state's history that a committee investigating circumstances relating to a member has not invited the member in question, in this case me, to appear ... and give evidence.

"This is a blatant denial of natural justice."

The minister's letter prompted the committee to push back its final report a week.

The health minister also released text messages he exchanged with Mr Marshall from the time of the event, which he said made clear the pair had not shaken hands.

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