Southern Phone helps community groups across Dungog Shire
Seven community groups are about to embark on important projects thanks to a share in $25,000. Southern Phone presented Dungog mayor, Cr Harold Johnston, with the funds last week after the groups were successful in the company’s annual grants program.
Friends of St James Theatre will put the money towards a new cinema screen, Dungog Junior Rugby League Club will create more storage, The Trustee for Dungog Common Reserve Trust will install a new grid at the entrance to the precinct and Dungog Information and Neighbourhood Services will buy a multi-function printer.
Clarence Town Preschool will buy new tables and chairs, Wallarobba Community Hall will finally have fans installed, and the Gresford Sporting Complex Management Committee will use the money to upgrade its canteen.
The money was part of more than $1 million given away across council areas in NSW that have a share in the company. Southern Phone managing director Mark Warren said the company was owned by 41 councils across the state, including Dungog. He said the company had given the Dungog area at least $60,000 annually over the past two years. He said the town had been hit hard in the past year and the funds would help community groups improve their facilities.
“We return the funds that the business makes back to the community through the councils by way of this grants program and a profit dividend,” Mr Warren said.
"Basically the more people in Dungog who join, the more money we can give back to them each year.” The money was made available through the Southern Phone community grants scheme.
Cr Johnston said the scheme gave community projects an added boost. “It’s in all our interests to get as much business for them as we can because it flows back to us,” he said.
Southern Phone is now giving community groups $50 every time someone in the group joins the network. “We are happy to pay the money,” Mr Warren said. “We’ll keep a track of it and at the end of the month we’ll disburse the cheque.”