Scott Morrison talks up Libs in Tasmania

Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the opening of the Liberal's Bass campaign office in Tasmania.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the opening of the Liberal's Bass campaign office in Tasmania.

It wasn't the official start of an election campaign but it sure felt like one.

Scott Morrison cuddled a baby, inspected plants and issued a rallying cry to party faithful on Saturday during a visit to northern Tasmania.

The prime minister's two-day trip started with a tour of a forest nursery at Somerset where he announced $12.5 million regional forestry 'hubs' to boost the industry around the country.

His second stop was the opening of Liberal Bass candidate Bridget Archer's office in Launceston where he told a packed room only his government could take the country forward.

"When I'm looking to the next election ... we will make Australia stronger, the Labor Party will make it weaker," he said.

The Liberals don't have a federal seat in Tasmania - Labor hold four and independent Andrew Wilkie holds the Hobart-based electorate of Clark, formerly known as Denison.

The seats of Lyons, Bass and Braddon were lost by the Liberals at the 2016 poll.

Bass, currently held by Ross Hart who won with a swing of six per cent, has gone back-and-forth between the two major parties over decades.

Ms Archer, a farmer and mayor of George Town, said the Liberals were gunning to win it back.

"Tasmania has never seen it so good. We want to keep that going. We don't want to see Tasmania go backwards. We need to take back Lyons, take back Braddon and take back Bass," she said.

Former soldier and businessman, Gavin Pearce, has been pre-selected for the Liberals in Braddon, a seat held by Labor's Justine Keay who defeated Brett Whiteley at a by-election in July after she was caught up in the dual-citizenship fiasco.

The federal government is expected to deliver its budget in April before a May vote.

Australian Associated Press