Splitting the energy and environment portfolios might sound like a backward step, but here's why it could work.
The Turnbull government's cities policy is the latest incarnation of 'the-Commonwealth-knows-best' approach, with little regard for whether urban issues are best resolved at the metropolitan level.
The discussion paper makes all the right noises, but the proof of the policy will be in the detail of partnership arrangements and implementation structures, and in how new money is used.
In his ministerial reshuffle earlier this year, Malcolm Turnbull made Angus Taylor, an up-and-coming Liberal MP, the assistant minister for cities and digital transformation.
The new cities minister apparently shares the Property Council and KPMG's enthusiasm for the UK 'City Deals' model, but he should look more closely at this 'tried and tested' model before adopting it.
Effective development planning must anticipate where growth might occur and its wider impacts. So, if the federal government is serious about cities policy, it needs a proper settlements plan.