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Tom Elliott explains ‘what really happens’ at men-only clubs

Tom Elliott has laughed off suggestions men-only clubs are still centres of “power and influence” in 2019.

It comes after new Greens candidate Julian Burnside terminated his 40-year membership of the invitation-only Savage Club in Melbourne because it did not allow female members.

It’s reignited debate about whether gendered clubs should be legal.

Tom Elliott said their relevance and influence had been hugely overestimated.

He said suggestions they were “centres of power and influence” where “big deals got done” were so off the mark it wasn’t funny.

“It is complete and utter nonsense,” the 3AW Drive host said.

“I’m here to tell you now … they are largely populated by people who just want a bit of time away from their wives and families – now, you can cast judgement on that, if you will.

“But they don’t discuss business, they don’t exchange business cards, they don’t even really talk about politics that much.

“They sit there, have a drink and enjoy a bit of conversation.

“That’s all it is – a voluntary social club.

“And just so we’re absolutely clear, this isn’t limited to men.

“There are women-only clubs, too.

“There’s the Alexandra Club, the Lyceum Club, there’s also the Fernwood gym.

“So sometimes women, it seems, like some time to just talk with other women – with no men present – about whatever issues are on their mind.

“This idea these clubs are centres of corporate power and influence where leaders of industry are pulled and prime ministers are appointed … it’s just complete and utter nonsense.

“It may have been partly true 40 or 50 years ago, but it has not been true for a long, long, long time.

“Trust me on this, the sort of people that go just go because they want a meal and some quiet conversation and that’s all there is to it.

“The idea the government should step in and ban them is frankly big brother-esque.”

Click PLAY below to hear Tom Elliott’s thoughts on the matter