Call for bold move by Australia to improve Pacific relationship

Australia's returned Prime Minister Scott Morrison is being urged to move boldly on climate change policies to improve relationships with Pacific neighbours.

But observers said no substantial change is expected for Australia's engagement in the region after the Coalition's surprise win at the weekend.

Shane McLeod of the Australian think-tank, the Lowy Institute, said Australia's so-called Pacific step up, a suite of policies and funding initiatives brought in in 2017, will likely continue.

But he said with losses on the hard right, there may be more room for the government to manoeuvre on climate change.

"The fact that some of those people have departed, for example the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott is no longer in parliament, may give him more space to move.

"It may give him space to come up with his own approach and to really take that on and not be beholden to some of the factions and some of the voices that have really held the government back over a long period of time."