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The $11 Million Office Makeover

If the armrest on your desk chair (circa 1987) wobbles, or the conference tables are scratched and stained with 30 years worth of coffee, you might not want to read the rest of this post, because it will probably send you into a fit of rage rivaled only by the Incredible Hulk or an overtired 2-year-old who’s just been told it’s time for a nap.

The offices of the Australian parliament are receiving a makeover. And they’re not just getting a few new ferns or some reupholstered conference room chairs.

They’re spending $11 million on brand-new furniture.

Every piece of furniture in the parliament’s 226 offices will be replaced – regardless of its condition, according to an article from the Daily Telegraph.

That’s $48,672.56 for per office (or an estimated $3,700 per person*) to replace chairs, desks, shelves and other office equipment.

Commence fit of rage.

To put this in perspective, building parliament itself cost the Australian people $1.1 billion.

Parliamentary managers defended the purchase, saying it was important to maintain “a common and consistent” theme in the building. They’re also concerned that they’re running out of parts to replace broken tables and chairs – some of which date back to the building’s opening in 1988.

Elected lawmakers, who already have higher-end furniture than the people who work for them, will not be included in the upgrade.

It seems to us that if parliament were concerned about taxpayers, they might have found a more thrifty solution for their furniture woes.

Had they been shopping around at a place like Arnolds, which stocks plenty of high-quality used furniture, they would’ve found some great bargains.

They could have outfitted staffers with a sweet executive chair and a cherry laminate desk for $1,500. That’s a 60 percent savings.

For fun, we thought we’d round up a few things you could buy with $11 million:


– Rihanna’s 10,000-square-foot L.A. mansion (featuring a sauna, pool and private cinema).

– Compensation for the average S&P chief executive officer, which includes salary, bonuses and stocks.

– Eleven 50-foot yachts

– A year’s worth of food for more than 120,000 children.


– 48 new Ferrari 458 Italias

– 1.5 percent of Stadium Australia, a stadium used for rugby and football (that’s soccer for us Americans) in Sydney, Australia

– One quarter of the $40 million screen Jerry Jones installed in the new cowboy’s stadium (the stadium itself cost as much as Parliament to build).


– 440 giraffes

– 20,109 iPad 2s

– 4,400 new copy machines

best boss mug

– 916,666 World’s Best Boss mugs

– A four-year for 157 people

* According to the Parliamentary Education Office, more than 3,000 people work in Parliament when it is in session).

Parliament photo courtesy of Rhianna’s mansion photo courtesy of Ferrari photo courtesy of Giraffe photo courtesy of the Berlin Zoo. “The Office” photo courtesy of

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