Mayor to present Southern Phone Grants monies

6 February, 2015Posted in: Community

Wingecarribee Shire Mayor Councillor Duncan Gair will join Southern Phone Managing Director, Mark Warren this Monday to hand over $25,000 to five Highlands-based community groups as part of the Southern Phone Grants Scheme.

“We received a fabulous response to the scheme,” the Mayor said.

“There were many very worthy applications and making the final decision proved extremely difficult.”

The five successful recipients, Berrima District Historical & Family History Society, the Bowral Junior Rugby League Club, the Moss Vale & District Basketball Association, the Wingecarribee Food Services and the Wingello Garden Initiative will be presented with their cheques at Council this Monday 9 February 2015.

The monies are provided as part of the Southern Phone Grants Scheme whereby dividends are returned to shareholding Councils.

Formed in 2002 and initially funded by the Federal Government using money raised from the sale of Telstra, Southern Phone is an unlisted Public Company with only Local Councils holding shares.

Today 41 Local Councils hold a share in the company – including Wingecarribee Shire Council – and the company has grown to become the third largest provider of fixed line services (after Telstra and Optus) and the fourth largest mobile phone provider (after Telstra, Optus and Vodafone) in regional Australia.

“The history of Southern Phone is a fantastic success story,” Councillor Gair said.

“It was established 13 years ago in a bid to provide more affordable telecommunications services to regional Australia,” he said.  “And it’s now one of the largest players in the market.”

“But even more impressive is that since 2004, all profits have been returned to shareholding communities.”

“Basically, the more customers Southern Phone secure, the more funds they’re able to return to supporting communities like the Southern Highlands,” the Mayor said.

This year $1 million dollars was made available to shareholding Councils.

“Distributing $25,000 to our local community should give anyone in the market looking for a phone provider incentive to consider Southern Phone.”

Councillor Gair will join Mr Warren at a brief presentation ceremony on Monday 9 February from 2.30pm in Council’s Moss Vale Civic Centre Nattai Room.