More than $15,000 was spent installing an oven in the prime minister’s office under the administration of former PM Tony Abbott, according to data from the Department of Parliamentary Services.
Reports by AAP say that the oven in the parliament house cabinet suite cost $15,535, while another $13,490 was spent on its manufacture.
The price over the commercial oven was probed by Senator Penny Wong during a Senate estimates hearing earlier in February this year who asked why “such a substantial appliance is required” saying that “it just seems odd”.
But department secretary Robert Stefanic defended the $15,000 price tag of the oven saying it was “not unusual”.
“As someone who was extensively involved in the refurbishment of the kitchens at the New South Wales parliament, can I add that industrial catering equipment is quite expensive — $15,000 would not be unusual,” Stefanic said.
“In fact, it is not at the upper end of pricing.”
Wong responded by saying: “I did not know there were ovens that cost $15,000 — you learn something new every day.”
The oven was installed in the PM’s suite in May last year to replace a 24-year-old oven.