National News

Protester interrupts Tas leaders' debate

tarkine wilderness image

A supplied image obtained Tuesday March 29, 2016 of Rupert Point captured by photographer Jenny Archer. Archer was one of 120 artists from across Australia and overseas who have just spent three days in Tasmania's northwest Tarknie wilderness finding inspiration for works which will be used in a conservation campaign. Image: AAP Image/ Jenny Archer

An environmental protester has taken centre stage during an Tasmanian election debate between the state's two major party leaders, as they pledged responsible financial management.

A man holding a banner reading 'Tarkine' - a national heritage wilderness area in the state's northwest - stormed on stage after opening remarks by Premier Will Hodgman and Labor opposition leader Rebecca White at Burnie on Tuesday.

He was escorted from the room along with two other people.

It didn't put the two party heads off their game though as they fielded questions about the state's economy, education and health ahead of the March 3 poll.

After announcing a $757 million health package at the weekend, Mr Hodgman trumpeted the Liberals' economic management and vowed Tasmania wouldn't go back into deficit.

"Our track record is the best indicator of future performance," he said.

"We have managed our finances well and we have rebooted the economy. We have produced the best fiscal result in 10 years.

"I can commit we will not take the budget back into deficit if we are re-elected."

Ms White also pledged to responsibly manage the state's finances.

"We're not intent on blowing any budget - we want to provide responsible budget management," she told the audience at the Burnie Arts and Function Centre.

"We'll also invest in people and make sure they can access the services they need."

Mr Hodgman said the Liberal education policy would be released in the "near future".

Earlier in the day, he announced $6 million for a new Burnie ambulance station and an eight bed acute medical unit at the North West Regional Hospital as part of a six-year health plan.

The Tasmanian Electoral Commission has confirmed 109 candidates are running in next month's election, 20 more than the 2014 election.

Many analysts believe a minority government scenario is likely.

© AAP 2018