Increasing Newstart and rail electrification ... last week's ordinary meeting of Shoalhaven City Council saw rare consensus on a couple of big picture issues. The sudden rush to agree on issues beyond its remit is a sea change some cynics - Kiama MP Gareth Ward included - would put down to the upcoming local election.
Suddenly, it seems, councillors are hunting headlines and building their public profiles as they go. And while he's quick to condemn councillors for stepping on state government turf with their call for electrification of the rail line to Kiama, the tactic is straight out of Mr Ward's playbook. In fact, back when he was cutting his political teeth as a Shoalhaven councillor, he routinely wandered into the state realm in search of a headline, so a bit of pot, kettle, black there.
Curiously, this rush to embrace state and federal issues has been missing in action in the one space it should directly concern the majority of councillors - climate change and the challenges it presents for a local government situated smack bang in the eye of the looming storm.
Rising sea levels on the one hand and an ever-growing bushfire threat on the other - both symptomatic of a warming planet - are squarely in council's remit as factors in future planning but very little is said on the issue. In fact, at the September ordinary meeting, the tone got nasty when Greens Mayor Amanda Findley dared to read a statement from a teenage climate strike organiser.
Now, in the rush to build their profiles in an election year, councillors are stepping up to their cherrypicked grandstands, with some entertaining results.
On the motion supporting Unions Shoalhaven's rail electrification campaign, we saw former Liberal MP Joanna Gash on the same page as Labor man Bob Proudfoot. The only dissenter was Cr Andrew Guile, who, speaking against the motion, said he could speak honestly to it because he was not seeking re-election.
Starting to sniff the populism yet? Detecting that hint of election in the air, even though it's almost a year away?
With each councillor rising to speak in support of rail electrification (except for Guile) and a Newstart increase - pretty much saying exactly the same as each other - the meeting turned into a five-hour slog.
They're back again this week to get through the agenda items they couldn't debate last time. Perhaps they'll put aside the big picture for now.