This past week treasurer Jim Chalmers claimed that the breaking of an election commitment around stage three tax cuts was something Australians should accept. Indeed, should welcome. Why? Because it was the sign of a government acting in concert with the will of the Australian people - and the decision was in line with 'sound economic policy'.
The Prime Minister also made it clear why he was breaking a promise to the Australian people, claiming: "My job is to respond, to seek advice and then to make a difference."
How did he come to this conclusion? Because he had received 'advice'. Who gives this advice? We were not told. But I'm inclined to think it was more likely to be panicking pollsters than fraught economists, as we're being led to believe.
For those in the agricultural sector, you have every right to be enormously frustrated by these statements. In fact, you have every right to be furious. The fact that this Government is now claiming that election commitments can be abandoned due to the economic harm they may do is an affront to the agricultural sector and farmers everywhere.
When exactly did the Mr Albanese start listening to advice?
The live export ban of 2011, a decision made by a cabinet of which Mr Albanese was a member, was made against the advice received by the government. That was the whole reason the Federal Court found the action to be illegal and sided with the claimants of the Brett Cattle case.
Despite a scathing judgement against their actions, this government is still refusing to settle this case reasonably and pay for the damages they inflicted.
I wonder who is giving them this advice not to settle? Who's telling them to drag it out and keep inflicting harm? We haven't been told that. Maybe it's a secret.
If you're a sheep producer in Western Australia, who has repeatedly been told that the commitment to phase out your industry was made at the election and is therefore an unbreakable commitment to the Australian people, you too have every right to feel angry.
Today, you have every right to question whether this is still a valid claim. You have every right to question whether you can trust anything you've been told to date.
After more than 4000 submissions, most of which have advised of the harm this policy will do to the economy of rural Western Australia, after the Labor West Australian government advised the federal government it does not support the policy and after hundreds of media articles advising the government of the hurt already being inflicted, the government is still claiming they can't break this election promise.
We aren't even allowed to know whose advice they are receiving. The report commissioned to inform them on the decision is another secret.
How many of the election commitments made by this government more than two years ago should continue? Will continue? How many need to be updated? And how many, based upon current polling, current feedback from the public and the performance of this government in the past 12 months, should we still accept as being correct?
The Australian public didn't vote to support a biosecurity tax. But we're being told it's happening on 1 July this year. The Australian public didn't vote on increasing taxation on superannuation, but it's still happening. The Australian public didn't vote on changing the stage three tax cuts either, in fact they voted for them. But new advice turned the government around.
Maybe we're witnessing a miracle? Maybe this government has learnt from the past year.
Maybe they've realised that being elected with 32 per cent of the primary vote doesn't give them the mandate they claim it does. Maybe they've realised that they need to listen?
So, if it's advice this government is after, here's some for free. It's not even secret. Pay out the compensation owed to us in the north. Front up to West Australian sheep producers and listen to what they're telling you. Stop lying. Stop hurting people.
Or don't. But if not, at least have the courage to tell us the truth. The only reason not to listen is if you don't care. You don't care what we think. You don't care about us.
Let's go to the next election with that out on the table. That this government apparently has no issue with hurting farmers, hurting families, hurting the people who live in regions, if it means gaining votes in the city.
Let's ask the Australian people to vote on that. The government could even make it an election commitment.
- David Connolly is president of the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association and runs the iconic large-scale cattle backgrounding and breeding operation Tipperary Station, in the Douglas Daly region of the Northern Territory.