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Men-only clubs can be “extremely valuable for members”

Coalition MPs have defended men-only clubs, after Premier Daniel Andrews called them “archaic”.

According to parliament registers of members’ interests, five sitting coalition MPs are members of a men-only club.

One coalition MP, shadow treasurer Louise Staley, has membership of a women-only club, the Lyceum Club.

No state Labor MP has declared membership of a Victorian men-only or women-only club.

Professor Beth Gaze from The University of Melbourne’s Law School told Ross and John that while she believes the clubs are discriminatory, people have freedom of association.

“Most people would hold the view that a private club that’s maintained by the members can do what it likes,” she said.

Professor Gaze said that men may gain a social advantage from being members of private men’s clubs.

“They are an area where there’s a lot of networking… if a club holds a lot of men in positions of power it can be extremely valuable for members,” she said.

Currently, single-sex clubs have a specific exemption from our anti-discrimination laws.

Press PLAY below to hear Professor Beth Gaze’s full interview on 3AW Breakfast.