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‘A relic of the past’: Five state Coalition MPs are members of exclusive men-only clubs

Five Opposition MPs are facing criticism for being members of exclusive men-only clubs, after it was revealed Greens candidate Julian Burnside was a member of the Savage Club for 40 years.

Mr Burnside quit the club over the weekend.

The Age reports Nationals leader Peter Walsh, shadow planning minister Tim Smith, shadow attorney-general Edward O’Donohue, shadow roads minister Gordon Rich-Phillips and MP for Sandringham Brad Rowswell are also all members of men-only clubs.

Georgina Dent, contributing editor of Women’s Agenda, a mum and a former lawyer questioned the purpose and relevance of the clubs.

“They are probably the relic from the past, it’s relevant considering the question of women in politics, my problem with these exclusive men-only clubs is not that they exclude women, but that they are essentially being frequented by people in positions of power,” Georgina told Neil Mitchell.

“We know that, say the golf course, business deals are done there, board directorships are discussed there, big promotions, big deals and it’s the same as these private clubs.

“I think it’s difficult for them to be a member and then credibly claim that they are interested in things like equal opportunity.

“I don’t think it’s helpful to put only women together or only men together.”

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“My argument is you’re entitled to do it, providing you’re not taking government money, you’re not on government land,” Neil said.

“What’s it got to do with the damn government, that’s my view.”

Image: Google Maps (The Australia Club)