Tas Labor candidate in from cold after row

·2-min read

Tasmanian Labor has installed a popular mayor as a state election candidate after an internal preselection stoush forced the party's national executive to intervene at the eleventh-hour.

Kingborough Mayor Dean Winter was given the green light on Tuesday afternoon to run in the southern seat of Franklin.

He was initially not pre-selected as a Labor candidate for the May 1 poll, leading to claims from the Australian Workers Union of deliberate, unfair state party processes.

State Labor leader Rebecca White on Tuesday morning asked the party's national executive to endorse Mr Winter, which they agreed.

"There is no doubt this matter needed to be taken control of after it continued to be debated through the media," she said.

"This is a resolution in the best interests of the party and the community."

Former Labor premiers Lara Giddings, David Bartlett and Paul Lennon were among those highly critical of Mr Winter's initial non-selection.

The decision was seen to be driven by the state party's left faction, with Mr Winter aligned with the right.

Ms White, who earlier said she wouldn't intervene in the preselection row, refused to comment on concerns raised by the AWU or the state party process.

Mr Winter is the sixth Labor candidate in Franklin under Tasmania's unique Hare-Clark system in which each of the state's five electorates is represented by five MPs.

"It's been a strange week," Mr Winter told reporters, adding he was resigned to not being a candidate.

Candidate nominations for the election, which was called almost two weeks ago, close at midday on Wednesday.

Tasmania's incumbent Liberal government, which is seeking a third term, labelled the drama as a "Bec-flip".

"(It) is just another example of the lack of direction and lack of leadership that exists in the Labor party," Bass MP Michael Ferguson said.

The Liberals, meanwhile, pledged an extra $110 million for redevelopments at Tasmania's major hospital.

Premier Peter Gutwein said the plan would extend the Royal Hobart Hospital's emergency department and create space for more intensive unit beds.

It takes the overall spend on the redevelopment to $200 million.

It is the Liberals second big health announcement in as many days, after $156 million over four years was promised to cut lengthy elective surgery waiting lists.

"This will ensure Tasmanians can get the healthcare that they need, when they need it, in the right place as well," Mr Gutwein said, flagging further health commitments this week.

Health looms as a key issue in the state poll, which was set a year before it was due after the government was plunged into minority when Speaker Sue Hickey quit the Liberals to sit as an independent.

More than 12,000 people were on the state elective surgery waiting list as of December. Just 56 per cent of patients are admitted for surgery within the clinically recommended time.