The West

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has rounded on actor Cate Blanchett's involvement in a campaign to support a carbon price, accusing the Government of putting the views of millionaire celebrities above those of "forgotten families".

"People who live in eco-mansions have a right to be heard," Mr Abbott told Parliament, in reference to the Oscar award winning actor's $10 million Sydney home.

"People who are worth $53 million have a right to be heard but their voice should not be heard ahead of the voice of the ordinary working people of this country."

Blanchett appears in the "We Say Yes" advertisement, funded by a coalition of unions and conservation groups, which argues for the adoption of a carbon price.

The campaign is supported by former PM Malcolm Fraser and Mr Abbott's old boss, former Liberal leader John Hewson.

Blanchett said yesterday she expected to be criticised and said her wealth should not preclude her from being able to speak out about a cause she cared about deeply.

She said her support for a carbon price was conditional on generous compensation for low and middle-income households.

Mr Abbott said that if Julia Gillard was saying yes to a carbon tax then she should also say yes to demands she seek a new mandate with another election.

Actor Michael Caton, who also appears in the $1 million carbon price advertisement, said those who attacked Blanchett's involvement were playing "dirty pool".

"It's basically saying that because you're rich you can't be passionate about something," Caton said.

"If that's the case, what is Malcolm Turnbull doing in politics? What is Kevin Rudd doing? His wife is one of the richest women in Australia."

Dr Hewson, who had Mr Abbott as his press secretary between 1990 and 1993, said Kevin Rudd was right when he described climate change as this century's moral imperative.

"It's far more important than any of the current politicians and players," Dr Hewson said.

Independent MP Tony Windsor, a member of the multi-party climate change committee, said his support would be contingent on the outcome of today's Productivity Commission report on international climate change action.

The Business Council of Australia and the Australian Industry Group are supporting a carbon price of $10 a tonne - half what the Government wants and a third of what the Greens are pushing for.

The West Australian

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