NSW deputy premier John Barilaro has blasted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on national radio, calling him the "problem" and demanding he "step down".

Speaking to Alan Jones on 2GB today, the state's Nationals leader accused Mr Turnbull of not putting the country and its people first.

"Turnbull is the problem. The prime minister is the problem. He should step down and allow for a clean out of what the leadership looks like federally," Mr Barilaro said.

He should step down and allow for a clean out of what the leadership looks like federally.

"Whoever takes the reins going forward needs to make sure that they put the country and its people first."

He said a departure before Christmas would be a present for the nation, because it needs a unifying leader.

"You've got a party in disarray, a coalition government in disarray and a community not unified, and that is all at the feet of the prime minister of Australia," he continued.

"My view is Turnbull should give Australians a Christmas gift and go before Christmas."

In response, Mr Turnbull told Neil Mitchell on Melbourne's 3AW network, Mr Barilaro showed cowardice by not confronting him personally on the issue.

"If that was a serious view he held, you would think he would speak to me directly, wouldn't you?" he said.

"If I had a view about a state leader of that kind, I would express it – if I expressed it at all – privately and face-to-face, I wouldn't be bagging them in the media like that.

"He's got my number, he can call me anytime. I'd be delighted to have a chat to him."