Tasmania’s ALP has become the latest to flag a members’ ballot for the state leader.
Down but not out, Tasmanian premier Lara Giddings has become the latest Labor leader to throw open the possibility of party members electing a state leader.
Ms Giddings says the ALP’s rank and file could have a say in her replacement should the party lose Saturday’s state election.
The premier is preferred by just 21 per cent of voters surveyed in polls but is refusing to concede Liberal leader Will Hodgman is poised to replace her.
But Ms Giddings has joined Labor leaders in the ACT and NSW by considering direct election.
“Of course we aim to win and I aim to be premier,” she told reporters.
“Should that not be the case then, yes it’s been very interesting to watch the Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten debate and ballot that included ALP members.
“That may well happen for us too.”
The Tasmanian ALP was the first in the country to flag the move, on the proviso the federal party went first.
Kevin Rudd introduced a membership ballot for the party’s federal leadership last year on his return to the prime ministership.
Tasmania’s ALP caucus would need to ratify the move, which Labor leaders in the ACT and NSW have also recently backed.
As the campaign entered its final days, Tasmania’s election rivals were scrambling to keep alive hope that 300 Qantas call centre jobs in Hobart could be saved.
The Australian Services Union said the airline was reviewing call centres in Hobart, Brisbane and Melbourne as part of the decision to axe 5000 jobs.
The island state has Australia’s highest unemployment rate at 7.6 per cent and jobs have been the central issue in the lead-up to Saturday’s poll.
Ms Giddings said the government has submitted a proposal for Qantas to consolidate all its Australian call centre operations in Tasmania.
Economic development department staff have met with Qantas to outline incentives that include a payroll tax waiver for positions relocated from interstate and an assistance package to expand the call centre at Glenorchy in Hobart’s struggling north, the premier said.
“Our proposal to Qantas is very similar to our submission that saw Vodafone relocate from Mumbai to consolidate a call centre with 1500 positions in southern Tasmania,” Ms Giddings said.
Mr Hodgman said he had also spoken with Qantas and department heads in an attempt to head off another massive blow to the state.
“(I) assured them that, if elected, a majority Liberal government will work constructively with Qantas to help retain these jobs,” he said.
The two parties pledges came as Labor turned its attack onto former power-sharing partners the Greens in an attempt to head off the prospect of the minor party outpolling it.
The ALP reportedly robocalled 80,000 Tasmanian homes over two nights, telling voters the Greens “want to destroy your job”.
Elsewhere, Mr Hodgman headed to the state’s famed hops-growing region to announce a $250,000 beer tourism plan to sit alongside Tasmania’s wine, whisky and cider trails.
Greens leader Nick McKim was in the northwest announcing a $12 million tourism marketing plan for the Tarkine region.
Palmer United Party founder Clive Palmer headed to the state’s north to declare the controversial Tamar Valley pulp mill proposal would not become a reality.
“We don’t want projects on the never-never,” he said.
“We want things that really happen.”