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Should Melbourne have its own foreign policies?

Peter Maltezos's picture

Should Sydney and Melbourne have their own foreign policies?

JUNE 28 2017 - 1:31AM Matt Wade

Illustration: Simon Letch 

Melbourne and Sydney are often cast as rivals. But their interests are increasingly aligned. Global economic forces have transformed Australia's biggest metropolitan centres.

The three largest industries by output in Melbourne and Sydney are now the same – financial services, professional services and healthcare. The knowledge-intensive service firms that cluster around their central business districts employ some of Australia's most productive workers. Both rely heavily on big universities and growing education sectors. They are magnets for migrants and overseas visitors.

But recent political turmoil in Western democracies raises a troubling question for Melbourne and Sydney: will the converging economic interests of these two successful, globally connected cities always align with those of the national government?

Events in Britain and the United States suggest the answer is no.

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