Department in hot water over its coffee machines

SWISS-MADE coffee machines costing taxpayers more than $7000 each are found throughout a federal government department, causing quite a stir in the Coalition.

The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism has nine top-of-the-line Swiss coffee machines which together cost $63,225.

Four smaller machines, some with an unreleased price tag, have also been bought since 2009. During a recent Senate estimates hearing, Liberal senator David Bushby ground the department down about its coffee use.

This week Senator Bushby filtered through the written answers to find a staggering price tag.

The data also showed the department had spent $37,203 buying coffee for the machines since 2009, and about $2000 a year on machine maintenance. ''That adds up to over $100,000 that taxpayers have spent filling up the coffee cups of bureaucrats in this government department in around three years,'' Senator Bushby said.

''Given Labor's promise to rein in spending and exercise fiscal restraint I would've thought one of the first savings measures would've been swapping the taxpayer-funded macchiato, latte or mocha for a tin of instant blend and a kettle.''

The department's answers showed nine Jura Impressa X9 machines costing $7,025.25 each were bought since 2009.

The answers also revealed Tourism Australia has a $13,922 Carimali espresso coffee machine in its Sydney office, which was bought in 2008.

''The government simply cannot play the productivity card in a bid to defend its spending on these high-end coffee machines,'' Senator Bushby said.



This story Department in hot water over its coffee machines first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.