Phew. Can we talk about something else now? The Turnbull Government certainly hopes so.
The Prime Minister, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and all WA Liberals are gambling that yesterdayâ€™s announcement on a way to fix the broken system of the goods and services tax carve-up will provide a circuit-breaker to allow the Government to change the conversation in this State.
Attorney-General Christian Porter, a fan of western movies, likens the never-ending GST debate to the movie Shane â€” regarded by film nerds such as our chief law officer as a classic of the genre.
One of the key scenes sees Shane â€” played by Alan Ladd â€” helping character Joe Starrett remove a tree stump from his ranch.
For the Attorney-General the GST issue was that stump. He says every time he walked the streets of his electorate the GST issue was there in his face â€” a stubborn object that had to be removed before anything else could be done.
Mr Porter and other WA MPs, Liberal and Labor, say the GST issue dominates any discussion with voters. Few other issues get a look in.
So great is the anger in some parts of WA that Federal MPs have told The West Australian that some voters tell them that a return to a fair system will not be enough to make them happy.
They want to see east coast States punished for taking an unfair slice of the GST pie.
Underlining the importance of this GST package to the WA Liberals, just about every Federal Liberal â€” bar a few who were travelling interstate â€” fronted yesterdayâ€™s press conference behind Senator Cormann to get their head on TV and be seen to be part of the fix. Certainly the careers of several of those present depend on this package proving a winner.
As The West has reported, recent polling has shown that the WA Liberals could be reduced to holding just five of 16 Federal seats in this State if current predicted swings play out across the board.
A Labor poll this paper reported in May showed the ALP was in striking distance of winning the Federal seat of Stirling â€” held by Human Services Minister Michael Keenan â€” for the first time in more than a decade.
Mr Keenan, who was one of those to join the phalanx of Liberal MPs behind Senator Cormann at yesterdayâ€™s press event, was doing little to discourage the idea that this plan could determine the outcome of his political career.
â€śI am very happy to talk about our position on the GST,â€ť he said.
â€śThe battlelines are very clear here. I think this will be a key battleline in Stirling, I think this will be a key battleline in Pearce, it will be a key battleline in Canning and Hasluck and everywhere else we will be fighting for our seats.â€ť
As for the politics of competing GST plans, the Government does now appear to find itself with the upper hand in facing WA voters.
WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt has called his Federal counterpart Scott Morrisonâ€™s scheme â€śpragmatic and creativeâ€ť. The WA Liberals will no doubt have hit record on the VCR to play that endorsement from a State Labor government over and over on our TV screens at the next Federal election.
â€śWA mums and dads should be very supportive of this proposal because ultimately it does make the task of returning to a surplus position much easier,â€ť Mr Wyatt said.
Mr Wyatt has called on Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten and all Federal Labor MPs to back the proposal, placing the Opposition Leader in a difficult spot in WA.
Mr Shorten has set something of a record in recent months in travelling to WA as he chased down the handful of seats he needs to put him in The Lodge.
He would be right to poke holes in the gargantuan lead-in time in which the Liberal plan takes full effect (eight years â€“ or two, possibly three, election cycles) but thatâ€™s a difficult message to package into a simple sound bite for the masses.
The easiest path for Mr Shorten might be to endorse the Liberal plan in its entirety.
Certainly Senator Cormann thought that a possibility yesterday.
With the GST tree stump removed, both the Government and Labor would be left to campaign on other issues.
At long last, perhaps we could talk about something else.