NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (Image: AAP/Bianca De Marchi)

This time last year, Sydney felt like a strange dystopia. Minors were being stripped naked and searched for drugs. Sniffer dogs invaded pubs. Commuters were being patted down behind privacy screens at train stations and pubs were struggling to stay open, with late-night punters directed to the only place still open: the casino.

Amid the pandemic, Sydney has turned into a new city. Live music is encouraged, police presence is reduced and plans for a new casino have been axed.

Did Premier Berejiklian finally see the light? Or did community revolt finally outweigh Liberal Party donations?