Sex discrimination case breaks out at prestigious golf club

Law Scales

A sex discrimination case has broken out at one of Australia’s most prestigious golf clubs.

Barbara Barnett, one of nine women members at Royal Queensland Golf Club, has accused the club of sex discrimination, as women are not allowed to play on the course at all on Wednesdays due to it being a ‘men-only competition day’.

What’s more, the Federal Circuit Court heard that women full members paid an extra $4,590 each year compared to men with ‘six-day’ memberships.

Women ‘full members’ pay $13,116 a year but cannot play on Wednesdays, whereas men who are six-day members pay just $8,526 but can tee off on Wednesdays.

Getty Images 1089527

According to the Courier Mail, club president Brian John Richards told Judge Jarrett that male members liked their single-sex competition on Wednesdays.

Asked if ‘men just want to play with their mates on Wednesdays’, Mr Richards responded: “And women want to play with their mates on a Tuesday.”

Christopher Murdoch QC, counsel for Royal Queensland Golf Club, then denied that the issue boiled down to men not wanting to play with women and women not wanting to play with men all of the time and that each want their own time where they can be out on the course in the company of their own gender.

He said the men’s competition was 'close to practical capacity' and it was not 'practicable' to include women members, which Barnett has rejected strongly.

The judge has reserved his decision on the case.

Royal Queensland GC counts former world No.1 and 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott as a member and has hosted the Australian Open on three occasions in 1947, 1966 and 1973 - the middle edition of which was won by Arnold Palmer.

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