|51st Leader of the Opposition in Tasmania|
Elections: 2018, 2021
|Assumed office |
7 July 2021
|Preceded by||David O'Byrne|
17 March 2017 – 15 May 2021
|Preceded by||Bryan Green|
|Succeeded by||David O'Byrne|
|Member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly|
|Assumed office |
20 March 2010
Rebecca Peta White
4 February 1983
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
|Alma mater||University of Tasmania|
Rebecca Peta White (born 4 February 1983) is an Australian politician. She has been the Leader of the Opposition in Tasmania and Leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party in Tasmania since July 2021, having previously served in that role from March 2017 until May 2021. She has been a member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly in the electorate of Lyons since the 2010 state election. Before she was leader, White served as Shadow Minister for Health and Human Services, and Opposition Spokesperson for Children.
Early life and education
White grew up in Nugent, Tasmania, northeast of Hobart as a sixth generation Tasmanian. She attended Sorell School, Rosny College and the University of Tasmania, where she studied journalism, political science, and international business management and marketing. She graduated with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce degrees in 2004. She then worked as a political adviser for Labor MP for Denison Duncan Kerr and later Senator Carol Brown, and was Vice President of Tasmanian Young Labor.
Early political career (2010–2017)
For the 2010 Tasmanian state election, White was endorsed as one of the Labor candidates for Lyons. Her campaign focused on "renewal", pointing out that sitting MPs Michael Polley and David Llewellyn had both been in the parliament for over twenty years. Her advertising made use of Polly Waffle wrappers, "Pollywaffle" being a disparaging nickname for Polley. At the election, White narrowly defeated Llewellyn for the second Labor seat (also defeating the third sitting MP, Heather Butler).
Opposition leader (2017-)
Almost immediately the Liberal Party went on the attack, releasing a fake CV titled "Student, party hack and MP" referencing White's youth and that she has never worked outside politics. White also expressed the hope that Shane Broad would fill the newly vacated seat, and promised to bring him into the ministry. Because of this the Liberals accused her of bribery, and referred her to the Tasmanian Electoral Commission. White responded that this stance "defies common sense".
White announced in December 2017 that under a Labor government she would phase out pokies in pubs and clubs thus breaking the decades long monopoly of Federal Hotels. The reason given was to protect people with mental health issues and the lower socio-economic strata, both of whom are susceptible to pokies addictions. Tasmanians lose over $110 million on pokies every year. This phase out would take until 2023, and would come with a package to help pubs and clubs transition to other forms of revenue. Following the election, White and the Labor party backtracked on their commitment to block the new licences under pressure from the federal party.
In February 2018, she declared the ALP would not be supporting the Liberals in attempting to re-introduce the state's anti-protest laws. White promised in the campaign to fund abortion clinics, after the Liberal government cut all funds to them. At the election in March, White led Labor to a three-seat gain, while paring the Liberals back to a bare majority of one seat.
White led Labor to another defeat in the 2021 election and subsequently resigned as leader. Following the resignation of the new party leader David O'Byrne just three weeks into the job, White was re-elected as party leader on 7 July 2021.
White married her partner, Rod Dann in a ceremony in November 2017. She has one daughter, Mia, and a son, Hudson. Mia was less than a year old when White was elevated to the leadership, and was regularly with White on the campaign trail in 2017. In February 2021, White revealed that she was expecting a second child, due in June 2021.
- "The Parliament of Tasmania from 1856". Parliament of Tasmania. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
- 7sd.com.au. "Interview – Rebecca White 24/08/17". www.7sd.com.au. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- Antony Green's Election Blog: The Candidates for Lyons
- "Green out, White in for Tasmanian Labor, the ABC understands". ABC News. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
- "New Labor leader Rebecca White gives nod to Shane Broad for Braddon". ABC News. 19 March 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- "Bribery claims against new Labor leader Rebecca White". The New Daily. 20 March 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- "Rebecca White defends claims that pokies ban is a health issue". www.tasmaniatalks.com.au. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- "Pokies Hurt People". pokieshurtpeople.com. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- "Labor's pledge to ditch pokies Tasmania's chance to lead nation, says Wilkie". ABC News. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- Koziol, Michael (13 December 2017). "Tasmania could become first state to blow up the pokies under Labor plan". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- "Tassie Labor bullied by Canberra and folds - Labor and Liberal beholden to pokies parasites". 7 February 2019.
- "Tasmanian Liberals vow to resurrect anti-protest laws to stop workplace 'invasion'". ABC News. 19 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
- Ford, Clementine (1 March 2018). "Women in Tasmania might soon be unable to get abortions". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
- Langenberg, Adam (15 May 2021). "Rebecca White stands down as Tasmanian Labor leader, endorses David O'Byrne as successor". ABC News. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
- "Rebecca White returned as Tasmanian Labor leader after David O'Byrne's resignation". ABC News. 7 July 2021. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
- "A nice day for a White wedding: Labor Leader ties the knot". The Mercury. 4 November 2017.
- Abblitt, Ebony (27 June 2021). "Rebecca White welcomes baby boy". The Examiner. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
- "Tasmanian Labor Leader Rebecca White with baby". ABC News. 19 March 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- Maloney, Matt (8 February 2021). "Tasmanian Labor leader Rebecca White announces pregnancy". The Examiner. Retrieved 28 March 2021.