When was the last time you used a payphone?
For some of the most vulnerable people in the community owning a mobile phone is a luxury they simply cannot not afford and payphones were invaluable to help keep them connected to loved ones.
Salvation Army South West captain Mark Schatz said for some a phone was necessary to let people know they were safe.
"You need that connection with family and friends they desperately need, it is an essential thing for a lot of people to have access to a payphone," he said.
Mr Schatz welcomed a new initiative launched by Telstra, which saw the telco reduce distanced-based pricing for national calls to a simple flat rate of 50 cents unlimited to standard fixed lines in Australia.
Australian mobile calls were also reduced from 50 cents per 35 seconds to 50 cents for 10 minutes.
Calls to 11 international destinations were also changed to 50 cents per 10 minutes; with reduced pricing and longer calls being introduced to a further 60 countries.
On top of these pricing changes, for the first time nationwide, publicly accessible payphones could now receive incoming telephone calls.
Despite the growth of mobile phone usage, payphones still remained a critical piece of social and community infrastructure, serving some of our most vulnerable citizens in their times of need.
Mr Schatz said these changes would really benefit people who could not afford a mobile phone.
"Mobile phones are a luxury most people have, but there are some people the most vulnerable, who do not have that basic necessity," he said.
"The Salvation Army is please that Telstra has recognised the importance of those most vulnerable in the community by easing pricing costs and providing an option for people to receive calls at a unique number at each location."
There are 19 payphones located across Busselton, Dunsborough and Yallingup, along with a further 14 in Margaret River and Augusta.
Across Waroona, Collie, Bunbury and Capel there are 59 payphones.
Payphones across the country provide a vital civic utility, with 13 million calls made last year, 200,000 of which were emergency calls to 000.
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