Paulo (Paul) Baretta from Things of Metal and Wood shows the coffee table he made. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily
Paulo (Paul) Baretta from Things of Metal and Wood shows the coffee table he made. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily Warren Lynam

Abbott's lost his marble... but our local guys can help

IF TONY Abbott wants to pay for the coffee table smashed on the night he was deposed as prime minister, the Sunshine Coast is not a bad spot to look for a replacement.

Mr Abbott has reportedly asked the Department of Parliamentary Services to invoice him for the cost of the table.

The Italian marble table was broken during a party in the then-prime minister's suite on the night he was ousted as Liberal leader and replaced by Malcolm Turnbull.

There have been reports that a person or people were dancing or standing on the table before it broke and that ministers souvenired pieces.

Moffat Beach stone specialist firm Mar Gra has offered to replace the marble top for free.

Mar Gra's Mariangela Gagliardo, after viewing images of the table, identified the marble as Rosso Verona, from Verona.

She said the business had slabs of the marble in stock at the warehouse and would happily replace the table top free for Parliament House, although freight would have to be at an extra cost.

If Parliament House opted for a change of decor, Coast furniture designers and makers could offer a variety of timber table options.

James Howe, of Solid Woodworking & Furniture Company, Marcoola, suggested "something made out of wood so it's not so shatterable."

Mr Howe, who has made furniture for the Papua New Guinea government, said he could custom make a coffee table of solid Australian timber about 1.5-2m square for about $2000 plus GST and delivery.

Paul Baretta, of Things of Metal and Wood, Maroochydore, had possible Parliamentary coffee table options on the floor ready to go yesterday.

Furniture maker: Furniture maker Paulo Baretta
Furniture maker: Furniture maker Paulo Baretta

Mr Baretta said a 1m square aluminium-framed table with hairpin legs and reclaimed timber inlay top at $450.

His range included a tiered solid Victoria ash table at $600 and an 80cm round table with pastel yellow aluminium frame and chocolate balau timber top at $740.

Mr Baretta said he thought locally-made and designed timber table would be more appropriate in the Prime Minister's suite than product made of materials from overseas.

Paul MacKenzie, of David Linton Furniture and Timber Works, Maleny, said an 85cm square camphor laurel table might fill the void in the Prime Minister's office.

But Mr MacKenzie said a blackwood table with more of a free form, and yet to hit the floor but likely to cost about $2500, might be more suitable than camphor laurel, which was not a native.

Mr MacKenzie said the timber would probably stand-up to the Parliamentary partying better than stone should people choose to dance on the table tops again.

"... but I'd like to think they'd take their shoes off before they get on the nice lacquer surface," he said.