When Tony Abbott laid out his manifesto last week for a more muscular conservatism, he offered an idea likely to hold appeal even to some who might be appalled by proposals such as gutting renewable energy policies and human rights institutions.
Jacob Saulwick is City Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald.
In the days following Gladys Berejiklian's statement that she wanted to ensure "every average hardworking person in this state can aspire to own their own home," the premier's actions have served only to undermine that goal.
It's the type of message you might read on a poster at the physio: "Visualise the process, not the result." But it might contain some truth. Or at least truth enough to lodge in your mind while you wait on a frayed hamstring. And to return to when you're thumbing through planning laws…
The glamorisation of the real estate profession seems awry on a host of levels.
In the coming year, Malcolm Turnbull will hopefully start to justify all those pictures of himself catching the train. And when he gets to working out how to justify those pictures, the prime minister will not find himself short of suggestions for things he could do for the city, and particularly for western Sydney.
The work of auditors-general has become one of the main tools by which government obfuscation has been rubbed against the grain.
The release this week of district plans by the Greater Sydney Commission potentially foreshadows a new era in Sydney planning, which may mean a new look and feel for the city's neighbourhoods and for how we move between them. There is that possibility. But it is also apparent that, for all the power of the documents, the district plans at this stage largely imply the continuation of the status quo.
It should be embarrassing that the US has such a better federal scheme for providing affordable housing than we do in Australia – a scheme embraced not just by community housing providers, but by a bipartisan politic.
If the Premier can ditch an issue on which he staked his moral authority, many will be hoping he will launch his Manly torso into a string of acrobatics.
"For years we have suffered from what are essentially deck chair shuffling solutions engineered by bureaucrats determined not to admit there were fundamental faults with the existing planning system. They were wrong!"