The federal ALP did not put pressure on the Tasmanian Labor Opposition to scrap the polarising poker machine policy it took to the 2018 state election, according to federal Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek.
Ms Plibersek's assertion comes after independent Clark MHR Andrew Wilkie wrote in an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald in February that it was an "open secret" in Canberra that federal Labor was "shamefully applying pressure" to Opposition Leader Rebecca White to abandon the policy.
Less than a week later, Ms White announced that the state Parliamentary Labor Party would not be persisting with the policy.
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Speaking to The Examiner on Friday, Ms Plibersek denied the ALP was beholden to the national gambling lobby and said state Labor had "made all of their decisions independently".
"It's completely a matter for the Tasmanian ALP," she said. "It has nothing to do with us federally."
"[State Labor has] made their decisions themselves.
"I thought Bec White was very brave in [pursuing the policy] and that there were clear harms associated with [problem gambling]."
Ms Plibersek said a federal Labor government would "do our best" to reduce harms associated with problem gambling in Australia.
The Deputy Labor leader had been in Northern Tasmania to hit the hustings with Tasmanian Labor MHRs like Bass MP Ross Hart.
Ms Plibersek said health, housing and education would be key areas of focus in Tasmania should Labor win government.
As a former health minister, Ms Plibersek said she knew the ailing Tasmanian health system "pretty well".
"I'm shocked, really, by the fact that, with the obvious need in the Tasmanian health system, that the state and federal governments are prepared to cut funding," she said.
"You've already got 9000 people on elective surgery waiting lists here.
"It's called elective surgery [but] I even think that gives people a false idea. Because if you're waiting for a hip replacement or a knee replacement, [you don't think], 'Oh, I think I might get my knee replaced'.
"That is constant, constant pain and disability while you're on that elective surgery waiting list."
Labor has pledged more than $260 million to address the state's health crisis, including $35 million for a sub-acute facility with at least 32 beds for the Launceston General Hospital precinct.
Ms Plibersek also highlighted Labor's plan to build 250,000 new rental affordability scheme properties around the country. She said Tasmania, which is experiencing significant housing issues, would get "thousands of these".
She said the party's negative gearing and capital gains tax policies would, too, lead to more money being available to spend on public housing stock.
"In the future, you'll only be able to negatively gear if you buy a property that's less than a year old," Ms Plibersek said. "That will support the construction industry to build more properties and be more attractive to investors."
"We believe all of that together will make it easier for young home-buyers to crack into the market and to add to housing stock, which takes a little bit of the pressure off rents as well."
Ms Plibersek, who is federal Labor's education spokeswoman, said the state Liberals' erstwhile policy to lower the school starting age to three-and-a-half in Tasmania would have made "a lot" of long day care and child care centres "unviable".
I think people understand from what we've said every day in the media that there is no endorsement [from Labor] of the [UAP] or the candidates.Tanya Plibersek
Labor is proposing to give three-year-old children access to 15 hours of preschool education a week, with the potential $1.75 billion changes to be implemented in 2021.
"The extra funding we've committed permanently for education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds can be done in [long day care and child care] centres to make sure that they've got a future," Ms Plibersek said.
Meanwhile, the Coalition's preference deal with billionaire Clive Palmer's United Australia Party has sparked controversy, with Labor lambasting the government for supposedly cosying up to someone Ms Plibersek's caucus colleague Anthony Albanese has called a "tosser".
But Labor faced accusations of hypocrisy when reports emerged later in the campaign that the party had preferenced UAP candidates second and third in Franklin and Clark respectively.
Ms Plibersek, however, said this decision couldn't be compared to what the Liberals had chosen to do in striking a preference deal.
"We've got no deal with [the UAP]," she said. "There's no return on investment."
"You want to reduce the number of ballot papers that are filled in wrongly and become invalid.
"So we're trying to keep the numbering system simple."
Ms Plibersek said the UAP was not asking Labor for anything "in a policy sense" in exchange for being preferenced above other parties on ALP how-to-vote cards in Franklin and Clark.
"I think people understand from what we've said every day in the media that there is no endorsement [from Labor] of the [UAP] or the candidates," she said.
"In fact, we're the only ones really calling out Clive Palmer for the fact that he has ripped his workforce off to the tune of $70 million but seems to be able to afford every billboard in the country."
On Thursday, Mr Hart defended the preselection process which saw popular Tasmanian Labor Senator Lisa Singh shunted down to a supposedly unwinnable position on the party's state Senate ticket for the second election in a row. Now, Ms Plibersek has essentially backed Mr Hart's argument.
"I think very highly of Lisa," she said. "I think she's a very talented, skilled person."
"But those preselection matters are always matters for state branches and the state branch has made its choice.
"When you're operating within the rules and within the democratic process, it's completely up to the state branch."
The Examiner has repeatedly attempted to arrange an interview with federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten but has yet to have anything confirmed.