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Department's hotline running cold.



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KERRY O’BRIEN LABOR SENATOR FOR TASMANIA SHADOW MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRIES AND RESOURCES

11 February 2003

DEPARTMENT’S HOTLINE RUNNING COLD

The Department of Agriculture’s 24-hour 365-day toll-free customer service line has received just three calls since July 2001. Each has cost Australian taxpayers $713.

A Senate Estimates Committee has been told the customer service line costs $1,352 to maintain per year, equivalent to $112.66 per month.

Just three calls have been received in the past 19 months, costing taxpayers $713 per communication.

Each call has been received an average 4,620 hours apart.

According to the Department’s Annual Report, “one [call] related to government policy, another to the use of government funds, and the third to property damage during air transit.”

Just one call was eventually dealt with by the Department of Agriculture. The other two calls were referred to other agencies.

For Comment: Kerry O’Brien 0419 007 780 Jack Lake 0427 773 842

44 Charles Street, P.O. Box 1193, Launceston TAS 7250 Phone (03) 6334 9366 Fax (03) 6334 9369 Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Phone (02) 6277 3842 Fax (02) 6277 3780 Email: senator.obrien@aph.gov.au