Tasmania's Labor leader to step down

Tasmanian Opposition Leader Rebecca White is stepping down after Labor's recent election defeat.
Tasmanian Opposition Leader Rebecca White is stepping down after Labor's recent election defeat.

Tasmanian Opposition Leader Rebecca White will not re-contest the party's leadership following Labor's third consecutive election loss.

Ms White announced her decision to stand down on Saturday, saying it had been an honour to lead for four years but a change in leadership was required to be competitive at the next state election.

She endorsed shadow treasurer David O'Byrne as her successor with a decision likely within the party in coming days.

Ms White had originally indicated she would continue leading the Tasmanian Labor party after the state election, however she said that changed after a week of internal conversations.

"There's no doubt that after the election last week we needed to reflect on what had occurred and I see the change in leadership for the state parliamentary Labor Party as a part of the change that's necessary ... so we can become more competitive to win the next election," she said.

She emphasised her decision to stand down had nothing to do with her current pregnancy.

"I want young girls and women everywhere to know that they can achieve anything and they should walk through doors when they open or they should kick the door down if they have to," Ms White said.

She commended her party for endorsing her for the leadership four years ago when her first child was just under four months, saying it was a testament to the party's culture that it was not influenced by her age, gender or stage of life.

The outgoing opposition leader will stay on as an MP.

Tasmania's Liberal Party led by Premier Peter Gutwein won the state election for the third straight time - a record consecutive win for that party in Tasmania.

The premier wished Ms White well following her announcement.

"While Ms White and I have not always seen eye to eye, I respect her for her hard work and wish her all the best for the future," Mr Gutwein said in a statement on Sunday.

Australian Associated Press