State Government pays $12,500 for new mini-cafe at WA parliament

A political storm is brewing over a coffee machine and
mini-cafe installed for exclusive use of politicians and their guests in
the Western Australian parliament which cost more than $12,000.

A
budget estimates hearing was told Parliament had spent about $12,500
installing the mini-cafe, which will be officially unveiled next week.

It will be situated in the parliamentary library and reserved solely for MPs.

The machine will be self-serve and each cup will cost just $1.90.

According to the Gilkatho Cappuccino Price Index, regular Joes shell out almost $4 on average for a brew in cafes across Perth.

Leader
of the Legislative Council, Barry House, told the hearing a large
proportion of the cost had gone to connecting new plumbing to
accommodate the coffee machine, which he said he hoped would add extra
“flavour” to Parliament.

The spend on the coffee machine was
approved by both Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Michael
Sutherland, and Mr House, who insisted the benefits of a good cup of
coffee will far exceed its cost.

But the State Opposition has blasted the move, labelling it both “extravagant and ridiculous”.

The Opposition’s Ken Travers said it showed the Liberal Party was “out of touch”.

“I
think it’s completely inappropriate, when we’re cutting the budgets of
our schools, to be spending that kind of money on a coffee machine in
Parliament house,” Mr Travers said.

“There is clearly a disconnect
between the Liberal Party, and their expenditure on Parliament house,
and what is happening in the real world.”

It follows revelations earlier this year that almost $27,000 was spent on a table and set of chairs for Mr Sutherland.


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