O'Byrne intent on full term

OUTGOING premier Lara Giddings could be out of Labor's top job in the state as early as today, as the party meets to rebuild after its heavy defeat at the polls this month.

Ms Giddings is under pressure to make way for a change of leader or new blood, even possibly retiring in Franklin in order to to revive defeated MP David O'Byrne's fortunes.

 Re-elected Bass Labor MHA Michelle O'Byrne will convene today's caucus meeting in Hobart of seven returned MHAs and sitting Legislative Council member Craig Farrell.

Ms O'Byrne, the former health minister, said yesterday she intended to serve her full four years but was looking forward to having more time as a backbencher to get out in the community.

She said she had heard suggestions she may stand down for her defeated brother, David O'Byrne, or others to return to Parliament, but that was not right.

She said there were two likely outcomes from today's meeting - only one person puts their hand up for the leadership and is confirmed as opposition leader.

Or two or more show interest in leading the party. Then an interim leader would be appointed (as happened with Labor federally after the September poll) while a substantive leader is chosen by a wide-ranging ballot, to be resolved by the end of next month.

Sources said that if the party's factions could not agree on either Ms Giddings or former deputy Bryan Green they may look to a compromise such as Ms O'Byrne.

Yesterday Ms O'Byrne did not rule out standing for the leadership, either as interim or substantive leader.

Ms O'Byrne said the party had to re-engage with its worker base, and particularly the union movement.

``There needs to be an understanding of the things that we did not do right,'' she said.

``I think we worked very hard as a government but 16 years in government does tend to move you away from your base and your community a little bit. So we need to re-engage there, we need to redefine what it is to be Labor.''

She said the party needed ``a very clear vision for what we think Tasmania should look like''.

``I think clearly we need to re-engage with our union base . . . workers did not feel that we were representing them,'' she said. 

She said there were positives from the March 15 defeat.

``One of the things about being a minister is that you have very, very little time, so one of the benefits of not being a minister is that you can get out in the community and talk to people.

``I have no intention of stepping down (retiring).''

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