Ms Steggall said the Coalition had earned the right to govern, whether it secured a majority or not, and she wanted to talk to Mr Morrison about a new start on climate policy without the «handbrake» of Mr Abbott in Parliament.
By late on Sunday, the Coalition had secured 73 seats to Labor’s 66 and a crossbench of six. With six seats undecided, it remained unclear whether the Coalition would achieve the 76 seats needed to form government in its own right.
«I think there’s clearly a mandate there [for the Coalition] and I have indicated that was my preference anyway during the campaign,» she said, making clear she would support Mr Morrison’s government.
«We are talking at the moment about a very close Parliament. If it is a majority, it’s not by much. We have seen the kind of instability there has been of recent years so I don’t think anyone can ever say it’s all fine and I don’t have to collaborate with everyone.»
Ms Steggall said she was «reassured to some extent» by Mr Morrison’s commitment to the Paris climate agreement. The Coalition’s goal under the accord is to reduce emissions by 26 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.
«Now, I probably disagree with the way in which he is going about it, or the speed at which he is, but at least we have the right starting point,» she told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
She said she wanted to see the Renewable Energy Target extended beyond its scheduled expiry in 2020, funding for projects under the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the closure of coal-fired power stations.
Ms Steggall’s demolition of the Liberal vote in Warringah occurred despite more positive results for the Coalition nationally. She said the nationwide results were not a rejection of strong climate change action or an endorsement of the Coalition’s less-ambitious approach.
«I think what was rejected was Labor’s economic policy,» she said.
Ms Steggall was elected with a two-candidate preferred vote of 57.7 per cent and primary vote of 44.6 per cent. Mr Abbott’s primary vote was 39 per cent, down from 51.5 per cent in 2016.
Asked who she would like to see take over the leadership of the Labor Party following Mr Shorten’s resignation, Ms Steggall praised Ms Plibersek as someone with a positive approach to politics.
«She is a respectful, intelligent, sensible politician and we may not agree on policies but we can certainly debate the issues,» she said.
«Women bring a different perspective and a different way of looking at the issues and working collaboratively and that is only for our benefit.»
Ms Steggall praised Mr Morrison as a strong campaigner who had helped oversee a robust economy.
«He has strong family values. He is a man of belief and a man of conviction, clearly,» she said.
Fergus Hunter is an education and communications reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.