It is my impression that there are a few issues intermingled here:
One the shere issue of bhikkhuni ordination within a Thai forest tradition or branch thereof
The role of Ajahn Brahm himself (as a teacher, personality, monastic leader)
The role of Western vs a parochial "Homeland" perspective
That this story has made (Buddhist) headlines seems to be very much centered around AB. I doubt it would have had started the same level of discussion if bhikkhuni ordination had been brought up in such a way by some more obscure (in terms of less proliferate) teacher with far less general air time. And if so, it might have focused on the issue of bhikkhuni ordination in Theravada/Thai Forest in general, rather on this particular case. But then again, I am not sure how likely it would have been for anyone but a self-proclaimed "free spirit" like AB to push for it against established setup.
I guess there is little doubt that AB has been a very proliferate producer of teachings, via his pretty effective internet presence, books and international appearances. From my perception (coming from Germany), he is hard to miss when you look for Theravada teachings on the net. Be it self-marketing or just an explicit international stance, it is fair to say he's more high profile as a Buddhist teacher than many other, probably equally deserving teachers. This makes him more visible and hence more subject to criticism. By this effect alone AB is prone to polarize.
I know that I didn't like his style at all in the beginning, it was too flippant and "pop-cultured" for my taste when I started off; more sober and solemn styles went down much better for me, initially. Still, I have to admit, AB has grown on me; he certainly is inspiring and refreshing, even though I still move elsewhere for some more indepth understanding.
I am under the impression that this polarity around AB is driving the current discussion. I noticed the reference to concerns from the WPP monks about "BSWA" turning into a "cult", i.e. a threat to (their) established tradition. This seems to permeate the discussion to such an extent that the scholastic view on the bhikkhuni ordination has been - conveniently? - sidelined by the WPP - unjustifiedly so, in my opinion. Though unfortunate, the discussion shown highlights the question of what differences will charismatic leaders make in the evolution of teachings.
AB is undoubtedly charismatic and I would think he appeals to a lot of Western students/disciples because he transmits Asian (Buddhist) perspectives into a frame of reference that is easily accessible to Australian, European and American students. This alone makes it an interesting field-study how this development - and the Australian vs. the traditional Thai path - turns out over time. So, it might indeed be History in the making.
Sorry for this meandering, I guess I was sharing my impression of the ongoings - from a totally subjective perspective of limited information, of course.
Hm, does that fall already under unskillful speech?