back to article NBN Co coffee budget brews caffeinated controversy

NBN Co, the entity charged with spending over $AUD30bn or so building a national broadband network for Australia, has defended the price it pays for coffee. The company felt the need to do so because members of Australia's opposition parties, after combing through NBN Co's finances, wondered why it had spent over $AUD100,000 …


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  1. Turtle

    That's why people even drink coffeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

    "The company felt the need to do so because members of Australia's opposition parties, after combing through NBN Co's finances, wondered why it had spent over $AUD100,000 on coffeee."

    It could not have been put any better than that.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: That's why people even drink coffeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

      I once sat down to do the sums on how much of my disposable income I spend of coffee. Then I realised there was a business case for having the business pay for it and writing it off as a taxable employee benefit. You see, the taxes I pay on the coffee as a benefit are lower (versus the taxes I would pay on that same money presented as salary and then spent on coffee, factoring in GST) that I could, in fact, buy more coffee with the same amount of money.

      Will work for coffee. And bandwidth. Will work for bandwidth and coffee. Do you have any coffee?

      1. Kevin Johnston

        Re: That's why people even drink coffeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

        I once worked somewhere that supplied free coffee and mistakenly commented to one of my colleagues that the taxman was known to treat this as a taxable perk.

        The guy then phoned the taxman to check.....

        I stopped talking to him, just in case

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's why people even drink coffeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

      Hmmm the benefits of keeping the workers at work, during work hours, by tit feeding them from a coffee machine, in close proximity, far outweigh the cost of having them taking random wanderings up and down the streets, trying to get said caffine fix.

      Just like Tony Abbot, walking out of parliament, to find the most holy and sanctimonius grovelling spot, to get his power stick fix from his imaginary friends.

      Bunch of arseholes and wankers, doing their nit picking point scoring, if you ask me.

  2. tkioz

    Bloody hell... they are really scraping the bottom of the barrel here aren't they... It was bad enough when the drongos against the NBN were twisting the facts and occasionally out and out lying their asses off about cost and technical specs... but this? damn... they really must be felling desperate.

    1. Allan Thomas

      Next up paper clips.

  3. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    What do we want? COFFEE!

    When do we want it? I'll fucking cut you!

    1. Anonymous Coward 15

      Re: What do we want? COFFEE!

      There's horsemeat in our burgers. It sounds like there's also heroin in our coffee.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Annihilator

      Re: No free drinks in our FTSE 100 company

      Most companies I've seen have those free coffee vending machines, but I've never seen inside them to confirm it's coffee. It's my theory that they've employed someone with a prostate problem to stand in the machine all day, p1ssing into cups on demand. All evidence certainly points that way anyway.

      The alternative theory regards the plumbing system and the machines' proximity to the lavatories.

      I'm no coffee snob (well I am, but can happily drink instant), but "free" coffee is usually free for a reason.

      1. dshan

        Re: No free drinks in our FTSE 100 company

        Well I've seen inside them to confirm they are roach motels. Worst job in any office is maintaining the Caffe-Bar, it'll put you off coffee, tea, hot chocolate, anything that comes out of them in fact.

  5. NorthernCoder

    Do the math...

    "At 30 June 2012, NBN Co’s headcount was 1,674" according to NBN Co Annual Report 2012.

    The number may have gone up or down, but let's work with that number.

    100'000 AUD / 1674 = 59.7... so let's say 60 AUD per head.

    What's 60 AUD in time? Counting conservatively, I guess an hour.

    I think it is safe to say that having the coffee machines saves more than an hour of work time per employee/consultant a year, not to mention side benefits of people talking work problems around the coffe machine.

    And of course my calculation is ridiculously conservative as the 100'000 AUD include the purchase of the machines, a cost which should probably be split over several years.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Do the math...

      You have coffee machines that last "several years?" Where do I buy such unicorns? Even the industrial ones get demolished in two or three (tops) around here...

      1. NorthernCoder

        Re: Do the math...

        Lost in translation:

        I meant 2-3, but I now realise "several" means more than that.

  6. Magani

    "NBN Co says it is spending about 16 cents per cup..."

    They're obviously not using those Nespresso-like capsules at that price.

    Now, which employers supply free beer?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: "NBN Co says it is spending about 16 cents per cup..."

      The Danish subsidiary of one of my former employees supplied free beer. This was a software development outfit in the warehouse automation industry, and that particular office had several glass fronted chillers full of beer which the employees were allowed to drink during their breaks. Those of us visiting from the UK office were extremely jealous, as all we had was an awful Klix coffee machine.

  7. Neoc


    Federal election gets announced -> mudslinging happens.

    I'm just surprised it took so long for the opposition to find something at NBN to complain about. It's not like they've had in in their sights since day one.

  8. Esskay

    A new low

    Apparently in Turnbull's magical visions, employees will just have to drink whatever water they find in the exchange pits - there, saved $100,000. This will prove that they're the better financial planners.

    Also, when this dies down - boat people! Yes, they're the NBN's fault too...

  9. TimChuma

    This is bullshit

    Having to go out to a cafe and get decent coffee takes 10 minutes minimum, which adds up when you have a large team of contractors paid by the hour. Also happened when people complained about the amount of milk being used on a project I worked on. Still cheaper than making everyone go down in the lift to get coffee.

  10. dshan

    Catering to Drug Addicts

    Excuse me while I slip into my Tony Abbott costume... I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, and outraged, extremely outraged, to hear that taxpayers money is being spent to help drug-addicted contractors and NBNCo staff indulge their disgusting weakness for chemical stimulants. I gave up such sinful stimulants when I was a seminarian, why can't they?

    This is typical of Labor, encouraging the use of addictive and destructive drugs in the workplace, and making the good, honest and hard-working Australian taxpayers pay for it! They should all drink more water, and pay for their own coffee at an Australian-operated small business out of the money they charge the Australian taxpayer for their services. That's the virtue of a free enterprise drug trade.

  11. JT163

    Not many employers have tabs at Cafes for their employees, 'tis true.

    But lots of them provide free or subsidised drinks and cofee - at least in decent IT firms.

    Compare apples with apples not oranges.

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