Prof Michael Wesley
Deputy Vice-Chancellor International, the University of Melbourne
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The Canberra–Washington Bubble
Amid a once-in-a-century pandemic that has closed borders and deflated economies, two of Australia’s most senior cabinet ministers flew to Washington for the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) on 28 July. Ministers and foreign affairs and defence chiefs were to undergo two weeks of quarantine on return to Australia. In an era when G20 meetings and leaders’ summits have taken place by video link, Michael Wesley asks what is so compelling about these talks that justifies chewing up three weeks of two senior ministers’ time?