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The NSW member for Kiama, Gareth Ward, has been inundated with bizarre and lewd text messages after giving out his personal mobile number to help clarify “confusing” health orders with his constituents.
The MP shared the official orders on his Facebook page over the weekend after tough new restrictions were announced to help contain the highly-infectious Delta variant outbreak in NSW.
“These are some of the most confusing and challenging orders I have ever read. My offer stands to give personal advice for URGENT matters,” he posted, along with his personal mobile number.
MP becomes target of strange texts
But it wasn’t long before his Covid gesture backfired.
The next day Mr Ward shared a screenshot of a text from someone who asked about custom masks for pelicans.
“Hey Gareth, I have a pelican named Gladys at Greenwell Point, he wants to be in my single bubble but his mask falls every time he tries to fly to my home of stink. Are there custom made masks for pelicans for a better fit,” the message read.
Mr Ward responded by telling the texter to “put a paper bag” over their head and “do the bird".
Mr Ward admitted his staff had warned against making his number public, but went on to explain that he wanted to personally respond to Covid questions because he cares deeply about the “safety and peace of mind” of his community.
The situation soon escalated, with another sender getting smutty in the middle of the night.
“Gazza you legend, I’m massively horny. Can I shag my partner? Thanks champion” the text said.
Mr Ward again shared the screenshot showing his careful and considered response.
“Thank you for this message at this very late hour. I draw your attention to the Explanatory Note in the Public Health (COVID-19 Additional Restrictions for Delta Outbreak) Order 2021,” he replied.
He slammed the message as “ridiculous”.
“Please only text me at reasonable hours if you expect reasonable responses,” he posted.
Mixed reaction online to texting drama
Messages of support quickly flooded in for Mr Ward.
“Seriously, you have gone above and beyond to help with confusion on restrictions. Some of you really need to grow up,” commented one person.
“So sorry that your very generous offer has been abused,” another said.
Some praised his quick-wit.
“Lol your comeback was great,” commented one Facebook user.
Another said: “Hilarious, I am sure you were laughing when you responded. Well done.”
While others were a bit more critical.
“I'm sure you meant well, but I think your staff were right,” commented one.
“[By] answering you seem to be encouraging this ridiculous behaviour,” said another.
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