Turnbull put in place the City Deals program in 2015 - aiming to create better partnerships between all levels of government. Some projects are underway, but we need more than just partnerships.
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.
Cities have been called “orphans of public policy”, so Malcolm Turnbull's decisive entry into the fray is remarkable. He has the credibility, nous and drive to deliver a national urban policy agenda.
A liveable city has become the highest form of praise we can give to a city space. But we need to discuss what that means and who gets to participate in the process of governing and shaping a city.