Bill Shorten speech cancelled in Tasmania

A speech by Bill Shorten will go ahead in Tasmania as planned after more tickets were sold

Labor has been forced to cancel a formal lunch and keynote speech by federal leader Bill Shorten to business leaders in Tasmania because of a lack of interest.

The opposition canned Wednesday's event in Devonport, which falls in the by-election seat of Braddon, because organisers only managed to sell 15 of 80 tickets, The Australian reports.

Mr Shorten will instead hold a "working lunch" in the hotel's restaurant as he campaigns in the key northern Tasmanian electorate.

Labor frontbencher Richard Marles denied there was a backlash over Mr Shorten's about-face on repealing company tax cuts for businesses with turnover of $10 million to $50 million.

"This is a beat up really," Mr Males told Sky News on Wednesday.

"Doing events are of course important, but if we're being honest they come and go, and Bill has done hundreds of events around the country."

Mr Marles backed Labor's policy of keeping tax cuts for businesses with turnover of up to $50 million, which came after Mr Shorten retreated on setting $10 million as the threshold.

"I haven't met anyone that reckons a tax cut for big business makes sense," he said.

Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh said Mr Shorten would hold lunch and breakfast events, as well as a town hall meeting while in Braddon.