National News

White wants family friendly Tas parliament

Tasmania's new Labor opposition leader Rebecca White has called for family-friendly changes to state parliament.

The second-term Hobart MP, who had a baby girl in mid-2016, said she's confident of being able to juggle her parenting and political roles.

But she fears other women have been scared off public life.

"We don't want to have people feeling they are compromising their family in order to stand for election in Tasmania, and I do worry that is sometimes the case, especially for women," Ms White told reporters on her first day in the state's top job.

Former party head Bryan Green resigned overnight at a meeting which followed a marathon sitting of the state's lower house, ending past 3am.

"It's very difficult when you're sitting until 3.30 in the morning to then look after the responsibilities of caring for a child," Ms White said.

"We do need to be making sure that we improve the functions of the parliament to ensure people feel they are encouraged to participate in the political process."

The public-school educated 34-year-old, who claims no family ties to the ALP or unions, is likely to boost the party's approval ratings.

"I don't see myself to be any different from any other working mum," she said.

"I feel very strongly that I have an obligation to provide the best role model I can for my daughter."

Michelle O'Byrne remains deputy leader of Tasmanian Labor.

The party is accustomed to having women in high roles, boasting the state's first female premier in Lara Giddings, who led a Labor-Greens coalition.

Ahead of a scheduled 2018 election, Ms White said it is Labor's aim to provide majority government.


* 34-years-old

* One daughter

* Raised on a farm at Nugent, northeast of Hobart

* Studied commerce and arts, majored in journalism and political science

* Worked as a staffer for federal Labor MP Duncan Kerr

* Elected to Tasmania's lower house in 2010

© AAP 2017

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