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Rudd issues Opposition with emissions trading -

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Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has issued the Opposition Leader with an end of October deadline to
finalise his amendments to the emissions trading scheme. Malcolm Turnbull has dismissed it as a
stunt, but says the coalition will be ready to talk.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Kevin Rudd is mixing with the big guns on the world stage but he's still
found time to fire a warning shot to the Opposition back home.

The Prime Minister has issued the Opposition Leader with an end of October deadline to finalise his
amendments to the emissions trading scheme. Malcolm Turnbull's dismissed it as a stunt but says the
Coalition will be ready to talk.

In a moment we will hear from Mr Turnbull, but first this report from Kirrin McKechnie in Canberra.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE, REPORTER: Two leaders, oceans apart on climate change.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: This isn't just a piece of, you know, political slap and tickle.

MALCOLM TURNBULL, OPPOSITION LEADER: It's really just a bit of bluster.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: In New York, the Prime Minister and his Climate Change Minister fired off an ETS
ultimatum to the Opposition Leader.

PENNY WONG, CLIMATE CHANGE MINISTER: Put your amendments forward, put amendments forward that have
the support of your party room and the Government will be prepared to consider them.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: Penny Wong's written to Malcolm Turnbull demanding to see his proposed amendments
to the emissions trading scheme by late October.

PENNY WONG: If Mr Turnbull fails to do that, if he fails on October 19 to get the agreement of his
party room to put forward amendments for discussion with the government, I think then Australians
are entitled to question whether or not he really is intending to negotiate on this issue in good

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: In London, Mr Turnbull wasn't taking the threat too seriously.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Kevin Rudd is more interested in playing politics than he is in saving the polar
bears the Great Barrier Reef or the Murray-Darling Basin. His whole agenda is political.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: Besides, the Opposition insists it's already working to an October deadline.

JULIE BISHOP, ACTING OPPOSITION LEADER: Minister Wong has played a political game by coming up with
a timetable that she already knew we were working to and then releasing to it the media. It is the
height of arrogance.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: The unwritten threat behind the letter is the prospect of an early election and
the Government has been ramping up its rhetoric about a double dissolution all week, in a bid to
spook the Opposition leader into action.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: We're ready for any election at any time, but the real issue is whether Mr Rudd
wants to get his emissions trading scheme right, or whether he wants to put thousands of Australian
jobs at risk by rushing it.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: On the jobs front there is heartening news. The Federal Treasury has revised down
next year's unemployment forecast of 8.5 per cent.

KEN HENRY, TREASURY SECRETARY: Employers have refrained from widespread labour shedding By reducing
staff working hours, significantly cushioning the impact on the unemployment rate.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: Despite his optimism, Ken Henry is urging caution.

KEN HENRY: Even with the stimulus measures in place, in taking into account the run of recent good
economic news, growth in Australia is still expected to be quite sluggish going forward.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: And ahead of next week's Senate inquiry into the Government's stimulus spending,
he is adamant an early withdrawal would only reverse Australia's good fortunes.

KEN HENRY: Withdrawing the stimulus more quickly would risk stalling the economy and causing a
steeper rise in the unemployment rate.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: Another warning shot aimed at the Opposition.

Kirrin McKechnie, Lateline.