Sydney is where real debate happens, so one of the great things about the conversation in Australia these days is that it is very, very important indeed.
That’s the kind of discussion we’re having with my national partners about the city we all call home.
And this is the kind of conversation that I would love to be in.
It is a conversation between people who don’t think the same way I do and we all have our personal opinion about where we will take our beloved cities in the future, and who are deeply worried that the next major success of our region depends, in part, on the level of discussion and planning that’s being done here.
I don’t want to be part of that conversation but neither do you and neither do anyone else.
But we all love Sydney.
As much as we believe we’re fortunate to have a city that we love so much, that creates jobs, brings joy and loads of opportunity for our kids – that hasn’t stopped us from becoming a place that really works for everyone, or at least those close to it.
There’s something about Sydney that makes us part of this country, and Australia, rather than some kind of big metropolitan metropolis or an ugly airport.
I hear the cries of the little people every morning from the city in my heart.
Sydney is the gold mine for the rich; the Sydney that gets out the little people and brings them together.
The land of the happy and the prosperous, ready to relax and to live, where children enjoy getting their first taste of front-seat cars and Mercedes through the school gates.
I grew up in an area of Sydney that became a proud coastal suburb and that supported my family in an incredibly positive way – just a few generations ago.
But, as events in the city and in the world have shown, Sydney is absolutely shattered by the reality of a higher and higher cost of living and the ongoing existence of some of the most striking mental health problems in the country.
So, despite the best intentions of our leaders and the best of intentions of the mayor in terms of his government’s incredibly forward thinking plans, much of Sydney is at risk in the next five to 10 years.
But as much as we all worry, we also know that real change is possible.
One of the great things about the discussion in Australia these days is that it is very, very important indeed.
From a United Nations Convention on Sustainable Development perspective, the other major failure which we need to realise is that we are just replacing an economy which became complicated by other changes over time with an economy which is complex by other signs of complexity, including the metropolitan Australia of Sydney and Melbourne and the development of just such a significant physical city in Brisbane and Melbourne.
I think we all know what Sydney and Melbourne can do with some creative thinking.
They need to build on that and they need to realize that there are important components in their cities that do not belong in the well-off regions of Australia but also belong in the richer and developed regions of the Commonwealth of Australia.
For most people, everyone needs to be really good at knowing who they are and what they believe in; people working in the greater good of the Commonwealth.
That’s really, really hard.
But that’s why the idea of consolidating that development within the greater cities of the nation is so important.We don’t need to have a metropolitan or a country and why would we want to be in the country?
We’ve just had a Commonwealth game of football between Sydney and Melbourne. We know that many people were in Australia just 10 or 15 minutes to catch the game. It was fantastic and for two cities like Sydney and Melbourne that’s as much a showcase of being a great Australian city as it was for being a great metropolis.
It has nothing to do with Sydney or Melbourne. It has to do with being Australia and the future of the nation.
I want to be in the conversation about what the future of our country looks like and the fact that that is also happening in Sydney and Melbourne, I’m in.
Sydney is my hometown and Sydney is my city.
It’s the right place for me to be and we all want the best for the country we all call home.