Indulgent Canberra fat cats or clever engagement strategy?

by HCA17 Aug 2012

In stark contrast to the cost-saving initiatives rolled out by the Queensland state government’s HR squadron, it has been revealed that one federal department in Canberra has spent $15k on installing high end coffee machines for its offices.

From espressos to lattes, the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science Research and Tertiary Education based in Canberra has got itself covered following the luxury upgrade to 16 hot beverage selections, News Limited reported.

It was also revealed on the Government tender website that the newly created Clean Energy Regulator has followed suit, and purchased a number of luxury coffee machines worth $2,500 each. A spokesman from the agency said the spend was to provide a productive and supportive environment, and added that the facilities were also installed for use at meetings with external stakeholders.

Not surprisingly the opposition was vocal in its disapproval. “From overpriced school halls to gold-plated coffee machines – Labor’s wasteful spending knows no bounds,” Liberal MP Jamie Briggs said.

Yet a government spokesman defended the coffee machines, and said it was ‘not unusual’ for organisations to “provide amenities for staff to increase efficiency and productivity”. “The coffee machines were installed in breakout spaces in the building during the relocation of staff," the department told News Limited in a written statement. “The five new machines included replacement of some existing broken machines. This was done to ensure consistency across the department's two largest Canberra tenancies.” Some 800 staff will have access to the machines.


  • by Kim 17/08/2012 1:39:06 PM

    we have just upgraded our coffee bean order to a well known coffee shop's bean (rather than office supply company budget type beans) - increases productivity to give staff a better bean and discourage them from long coffee queue breaks away from the office! slight cost increase of the bean was more than worth the motivation factor (for staff) and time saving/productivity factor (for business).