Rebecca White

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Rebecca White

Rebecca White MP.jpg
White in 2017
54th Leader of the Opposition in Tasmania
Elections: 2018
Assumed office
17 March 2017
PremierWill Hodgman
DeputyMichelle O'Byrne
Preceded byBryan Green
Member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly
for Lyons
Assumed office
20 March 2010
Personal details
Born
Rebecca Peta White

(1983-02-04) 4 February 1983 (age 36)[1]
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
NationalityAustralian
Political partyLabor Party
Spouse(s)Rod Dann
ChildrenOne
Alma materUniversity of Tasmania
Occupationpolitician
Websitebecwhite.com

Rebecca Peta White (born 4 February 1983) is an Australian politician, who has served as the Leader of the Opposition in Tasmania and Leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party in Tasmania since March 2017. 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[edit]

White grew up in Nugent, Tasmania, northeast of Hobart as a sixth generation Tasmanian.[2] 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)[edit]

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).[3]

Opposition leader (2017–present)[edit]

At a party meeting on 17 March 2017, Bryan Green resigned as Tasmanian Labor leader. White was elected leader unopposed, and hence Leader of the Opposition.[4]

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.[5] 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".[6]

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.[7] 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.[8][9] This phase out will take until 2023, and would come with a package to help pubs and clubs transition to other forms of revenue.[10] Following the election, White and the Labor party backtracked on their commitment to block the new licences under pressure from the federal party.[11]

In February 2018 she declared the ALP would not be supporting the Liberals in attempting to re-introduce the state's anti-protest laws.[12]

White promised in the campaign to fund abortion clinics, after the Liberal government cut all funds to them.[13]

At the election, White led Labor to a three-seat gain, while paring the Liberals back to a bare majority of one seat.

Personal life[edit]

White married her partner, Rod Dann in a ceremony in November 2017.[14] She has one daughter, Mia, who was less than a year old when she was elevated to the leadership, and is regularly with White on the campaign trail.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Parliament of Tasmania from 1856". Parliament of Tasmania. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  2. ^ 7sd.com.au. "Interview – Rebecca White 24/08/17". www.7sd.com.au. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  3. ^ Antony Green's Election Blog: The Candidates for Lyons
  4. ^ "Green out, White in for Tasmanian Labor, the ABC understands". ABC News. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  5. ^ "New Labor leader Rebecca White gives nod to Shane Broad for Braddon". ABC News. 19 March 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Bribery claims against new Labor leader Rebecca White". The New Daily. 20 March 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Rebecca White defends claims that pokies ban is a health issue". www.tasmaniatalks.com.au. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Pokies Hurt People". pokieshurtpeople.com. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Labor's pledge to ditch pokies Tasmania's chance to lead nation, says Wilkie". ABC News. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ http://andrewwilkie.org/tassie-labor-bullied-canberra-folds-labor-liberal-beholden-pokies-parasites/
  12. ^ "Tasmanian Liberals vow to resurrect anti-protest laws to stop workplace 'invasion'". ABC News. 19 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  13. ^ Ford, Clementine (1 March 2018). "Women in Tasmania might soon be unable to get abortions". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  14. ^ "A nice day for a White wedding: Labor Leader ties the knot". The Mercury. 4 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Tasmanian Labor Leader Rebecca White with baby". ABC News. 19 March 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Cassy O'Connor
Minister for Human Services
2014
Succeeded by
Jacquie Petrusma
Preceded by
Bryan Green
Leader of the Opposition (Tasmania)
2017–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bryan Green
Leader of the Labor Party in Tasmania
2017–present
Incumbent