Women who own property have been able to vote in South Australia since 1861 and all women since 1894. All Australian women have been able to vote in federal elections since 1902. Canberra, however, is blokesville – as last night’s debate showed.

Why was there only one woman on the panel – Alison Carrabine of 2UE – and four blokes; five if you count chairman David Speers?

There’s a pretty even gender balance in the Gallery. Laurie Oakes, the doyenne of the Gallery was on the panel. Where was Michelle Grattan? and Paul Kelly … is he even on the Canberra gallery?

Cobber and her colleagues at Fairfax must be unimpressed. Women have the top and 2iC’s positions in The Age bureau, at the Financial Review and a woman heads up the Sun-Herald’s Canberra coverage.

Crikey has heard some suggestion that Fairfax honchos considered putting the Sydney Morning Herald’s Annabel Crabb on the panel. Nothing happened. A senior bloke, Peter Hartcher, got his mug – and his pinstripes – on TV. All par for Blokesville ACT.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey