Debates will be boring, says McKim

GREENS leader Nick McKim is predicting a series of debates between his Labor and Liberal counterparts will be boring after he was uninvited or left out entirely.

Today, Premier Lara Giddings and Liberal leader Will Hodgman will go head-to-head at a forum hosted by the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce.

It is one of three showdowns between the two contenders for premier planned before the March 15 election, including one in Launceston later this month.

The TCCI did not invite Mr McKim, while the Launceston Chamber of Commerce withdrew the invitation after Mr McKim had accepted.

LCC executive officer Maree Tetlow said a decision was made to change the format after feedback from Labor and the Liberals.

"It was highlighted to us it would be positive to have the two leaders go head- to-head as our future premiers," Ms Tetlow said. She said it would also give the audience more opportunity to ask questions.

Mr McKim has also been left out of a Sky News debate and the ABC has canned plans to hold a televised town hall style debate involving all three party leaders.

"It's going to be pretty boring listening to Lara and Will agreeing we need to go back to the past epitomised by the pulp mill," Mr McKim said. "That's what we're going to get tomorrow - Labor and Liberal in lockstep looking back to the old failed business models."

He said the Greens were formally recognised as a party in the Tasmanian Parliament unlike new minor parties such as the Palmer United Party.

"I think that does confer on us the rights and responsibilities of that status," he said.

A Labor spokesman said the party had not refused any change to the debate with the Liberal leader on the basis of any party being in attendance.

"We have made the decision to attend three debates based on other commitments during the campaign," the spokesman said.

"At no point did the Labor Party say to the Launceston Chamber of Commerce that it would not participate on the basis of any other leader being in attendance."

Liberal campaign spokeswoman Vanessa Goodwin suggested Ms Giddings could send her former minister in her place.

"Labor and the Greens are running at this election to try and form another Labor-Green minority government," Dr Goodwin said.


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