Tasmania's new Labor leader admits party has to change

The freshly minted leader of Australia's only Labor opposition concedes his party needs to change and develop a clear position on contentious Hobart stadium plans.

Dean Winter was endorsed unopposed as leader of Tasmanian Labor on Wednesday after the party's fourth-straight election loss on March 23. 

Labor, which has been in opposition since 2014, conceded defeat after winning just 10 of 35 lower house seats with a swing of 0.8 per cent toward it. 

The party was unable to capitalise on a 12 per cent swing against the Liberals, who secured 14 seats and will form minority government. 

"We have to accept that we need to change because what we’ve been doing hasn’t been delivering Labor governments," Mr Winter said. 

"At every election when you fail … you do need to go back and listen and make sure what we’re saying is in line with people’s expectations."

Mr Winter, from Labor's right faction, denied the party was too similar to the Liberals but said jobs and wage growth were priorities. 

Rebecca White, who stepped down as leader after her third failed tilt at becoming premier, said during the campaign plans for a new $715 million stadium in Hobart weren't the right priority for the state. 

The stadium project needs parliamentary approval and is a condition of Tasmania's licence for an AFL team. 

Ms White pledged to try to renegotiate the deal with the AFL if elected but said Labor wouldn't jeopardise the team. 

Mr Winter didn't directly answer when asked if Labor's opposition to the stadium was locked in.

"I'm not going to be like (Liberal Premier) Jeremy Rockliff and make captain's calls and just tell my team what we’re doing after the fact," he said. 

"I'm going to engage them and make sure they’re part of the decision-making process.

"Yes, we do need to have a very clear position on this. The one thing I’ll say is we absolutely support an AFL team. 

"We all want a team. We’ve just got to make sure we’ve got a deal that makes sense for Tasmania and that’s our approach going forward."

Anita Dow was returned as deputy leader.

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