Why you're paying for these billboards
POLITICIANS are using taxpayer-funded allowances to pay for billboard ads ahead of the state election next month.
The Sunday Mail can reveal several MPs, from both sides of politics, have in recent weeks featured on billboard ads paid for with electorate and communication allowances.
They include Labor Cabinet ministers Shannon Fentiman, Yvette D'Ath and Steven Miles as well as LNP MPs David Janetzki and Trevor Watts.
First-term Mount Ommaney Labor MP Jess Pugh has also featured on a billboard partially funded with the allowance, which lists what she has "delivered" - including a road upgrade.
None of the billboards make references to political parties, which is in line with the rules for the allowance.
Mr Miles, Ms D'Ath and Bancroft MP Chris Whiting featured on a billboard together, which included a message: "Delivering a strong COVID plan."
Meanwhile, another billboard featured a picture of Ms Fentiman that points out that she is the Member for Waterford.
A Government spokesman confirmed both billboard ads were paid for with electorate and communication allowances.
He defended the ads and said all expenditure was audited by the Clerk of the Parliament.
"There are strict rules around what the communications allowance can and can't be used for," he said.
"Informing people of who their local MP is so they know who to talk to for assistance, acknowledging the hard work of members of the community and advising people of significant projects in their local area is important communication."
A Government spokesman confirmed both billboards were paid for with electorate and communication allowances.
Ms Pugh said the billboard she featured on was "partially funded" with the allowance and that all of her expenditure was within the parliamentary guidelines and complied with the parliamentary handbook.
"Every dollar I spend, whether it's sponsoring a local sporting club, organising the Small Business Awards or a billboard, is aimed at ensuring my community knows that I'm working hard for them," she said.
An LNP spokesman confirmed a billboard in August featuring Toowoomba South MP Mr Janetzki and Toowoomba North MP Mr Watts was paid for through the allowance.
The spokesman said it was approved by the Clerk of the Parliament and that all rules were followed.
Mr Janetzki posted a picture of the billboard - which includes a blue background - on social media last week.
MPs were allowed to keep 40 per cent of their unspent electorate and communication allowance from 2019-20, rather than the normal 10 per cent, following a decision by the Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal.
In its determination, the tribunal said the restrictions associated with COVID-19 were limiting members' ability to hold functions and other activities usually funded by the allowance.
The allowance is provided to cover a range of expenses, including office, communication, hosting and constituent support expenses.
All expenditure is audited by the Clerk, with a report released each year detailing how each MP's allowance was spent.