Qld politicians talk long and hard

Politicians in Queensland have been talking hard while taking care of the public interest, with half a million dollars spent on mobile phone calls in the past three years.

Figures tabled in Parliament today show the Ministerial office phone bill was $465,086 since the 1999/2000 financial year.

The Premier's office was the biggest spender in the past 12 months spending more than $20,000 out of a $145,000 total.

The biggest individual user was the office of Public Works Minister Rob Schwarten where his advisers spent $1700 per phone taking care of the community.

In fact, the average spent by ministers and their advisers was $1177.

The Premier Peter Beattie attributed the expenditure to the need to manage such a wide range of activities.

The National Party's office mobile phone bill was even higher at over $18,000, averaging almost $2600 per phone.

Liberal leader Bob Quinn has called on the Premier to issue an urgent edict to all ministers and their staff to ease up on excessive mobile phone use.

He also called for moves to ensure the phones were being used strictly for work.

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