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Business warns ETS assistance at risk -

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PETER CAVE: The Government has warned the business sector that if the Opposition stalls the
emissions trading scheme then $12-billion worth of industry assistance could be at risk.

The Opposition says the Government is playing political games.

But as the wrangling over that issue continues, Malcolm Turnbull has been forced to fend off
questions about his personal wealth.

The Opposition leader has made the BRW rich list. He says plenty of MPs have done well in business,
including the Prime Minister and his wife Therese Rein.

From Canberra, Emma Griffiths reports.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: BRW magazine has found Malcolm Turnbull is one of the country's richest people. It
puts his wealth at $178-million.

The Opposition leader says that's not quite right.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: These figures are basically plucked out of the air. They have no idea what the
net worth of most of the people on that list is concerned.

I've been on that list for many years. I have never provided any comment or feedback about it. They
have no idea. It is a speculative figure.

It is flattering but there are many people in the Parliament that have done well in their business
lives. Probably few have done as well as Mr Rudd and his wife Therese Rein.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: The Liberal Party head kicker Bill Heffernan tried to turn the heat onto the
reporters who'd asked if wealth was a political problem for Mr Turnbull.

BILL HEFFERNAN: With that success, wants to make a public contribution, you want to pull him apart.

REPORTER: I didn't pull him apart. I just asked simple questions.

BILL HEFFERNAN: Bull**** How much you worth?

REPORTER: I am just asking a question.

BILL HEFFERNAN: How much are you worth?

REPORTER: Well, I ...

BILL HEFFERNAN: You don't bloody well know.

REPORTER: I'm not on the rich list.

BILL HEFFERNAN: You don't know how much you are worth.

REPORTER: But why do you think it is an inappropriate issue?

BILL HEFFERNAN: Because I think that's a political bull**** ambush. I mean, when a bloke like, with
that capacity wants to make a public contribution, he should be applauded.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: The businessman Opposition leader has won some applause from the business sector
over his stance that the emissions trading scheme should be delayed.

But the Government has put the pressure on both the Opposition and big business, warning that a
delay may jeopardise the $12-billion worth of assistance already on the table for affected

The Labor Party's parliamentary secretary for climate change Greg Combet says business will not
want to have to go back to the drawing board.

GREG COMBET: Because the Liberal Party can't seem to come to a proper decision on its position
concerning the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and therefore wants to delay it and is just
looking for more excuses to delay it, it is creating tremendous uncertainty.

I mean if there is no legislation, then there is no assistance scheme for emissions intensive trade
exposed industries that is available, that gives them the investment certainty that they need.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: That's not a way to find a solution, according to the Opposition's spokesman Andrew

ANDREW ROBB: This again just exposes the sort of political nature of the Government's approach to
this issue. It is deeply disturbing that a government, when it is looking at biggest deliberate
structural change in our history, would start to play these sorts of games.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: But as all parties make their moves, the Liberal backbencher Wilson Tuckey has
revealed that an emissions trading scheme of any design may not be the name of the game for the

WILSON TUCKEY: Well I don't know that we would introduce an emissions trading scheme. We will
certainly take action to reduce carbon emissions.

REPORTER: But Malcolm Turnbull told us that an emissions trading scheme would happen come what may.

WILSON TUCKEY: Well, if he has said that, he has not said it with the approval of the party room.
Let's get that straight.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: While the Government continues to push for a vote next month, its emissions trading
scheme is set for defeat.

That would give the Labor Party a core reason to call an early election and send every MP out to
fight for their seat.

Greg Combet says a double dissolution election isn't on the Government's radar - for now.

GREG COMBET: Well, I recall some years ago someone said a week's a long time in politics so we've
got at least two and a half weeks before the legislation gets to the Senate.

PETER CAVE: Greg Combet ending Emma Griffiths report.