STATE ministers are conducting more and more business from Tasmania as they continue to reduce their travel expenses.
As Premier Lara Giddings left Tasmania yesterday on her Asian trade mission, new figures show the trip is a rare exception from the usual stay-at-home policy.
Environment Minister Brian Wightman was the only other minister to venture out of the country on taxpayer funds, travelling to New Zealand for a meeting of all state and territory environment ministers in April. His trip cost $2085.
Figures for last financial year show Cabinet ministers spent $496,272 on airfares, taxis, accommodation and meals - slightly down on the previous year's $534,636.
The bulk of that bill is racked up within the state.
Intrastate travel expenses decreased in 2012-13 by $20,676, interstate travel expenses decreased in 2012-13 by $5783 and overseas travel expenses decreased in 2012-13 by $11,905.
In 2010-11 the parliamentary travel bill topped $674,000 when five ministers went overseas prompting Ms Giddings to clamp down on taxpayer-funded travel.
Since then, spending on interstate and international travel has been slashed in half.
After Ms Giddings, the biggest-spending jet setter was Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne who spent $20,252 on interstate travel, while Tourism Minister Scott Bacon has done the least travelling claiming just $3382 in travel costs.
Ms Giddings told a budget estimates committee hearing in June that the government was doing it all it could to bring down the ministerial travel bill.
``I have had a number of meetings that once upon time I would have travelled for held here in Hobart through teleconference facilities,'' Ms Giddings said.
Yesterday, Ms Giddings departed for Indonesia, the first stop in her two-week Asian trade mission designed to promote investment opportunities in the state.
She will be accompanied by two staff and 60 delegates from a range of businesses, including forestry, mining and agricultural companies.
The cost of airfares and accommodation for Ms Giddings and her two staff will be $32,000.