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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) The Liberal Party claimed victories at two key

by-elections at the weekend in

what many considered was the

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. first test for the new

On that front we have a couple

of emails about the results in both

both Bradfield formerly held by

Brendan Nelson and Higgins held

by former Treasurer Peter

Costello. Fred says the two

seats won by the Libs on the

the weekend are close to the

safest Liberal seats in the

country. Mark Latham could've

run as the Liberal kanld date

and won in those seats. Not too

sure about that! He wants us to

please call them what they are,

easy Liberal heartland seats forever. That's one way to look

forever. That's one way to look

at it. In the Sydney seat of

Bradfield, Paul Fletcher was

elected with 55% of the primary

vote but in the days leading up

to that vote there was some

nervousness in the Liberal camp

. But Paul Fletcher joins us

now from Sydney to talk about his win. Good morning and

thanks for joining us. Good morning. Congratulations. Were

you at any point worried

leading up to this vote?

leading up to this vote? We

consistently said that we were

not taking the seat of

Bradfield for granted. The fact

that a seat has been safe

historically is one thing but the important thing is to

campaign to win the confidence

of the people who will be

voting this time around. Of

course there were undoubtedly

some interesting atmospherics

over the last week or two. So

we just stayed focused on the

local campaign. There was a

small swing away from the

party. Is

party. Is that satisfying to

you? We had a swing away on

first preferences, a bit over

3%. On two party preferred it

looks like it will be exactly

line ball with the result my predecessor Brendan Nelson got

in 20 # 7. By-elections as you know are generally somewhat

challenging for the party that

that the holds the seat. When you add to

that the developments in

federal politics over the last

two weeks it's a very pleasing

result and I think a

vindication of the issues we

campaigned on. I have received

an email this morning from Sue

Payne, clearly a member of your electorate. Please ask Paul

Fletcher why he handed out with

his how-to-vote cards flyers

emissions trading scheme? Was saying he agreed with an

that the old literature before

the change of

the change of policy? I've

been very consistent in my view

that climate change is a very

important issue. Global warming

I believe is being contributed

to by human industrial

activity. As our leader Tony Abbott has said it's important

we take the time to get this

right. It was very clear to me

as I spoke to people in

Bradfield that they were not

plaintiff Rudd's emissions not clear on the details

trading scheme because Mr Rudd had not

had not taken the time to

explain his policy to the

Australian people. I don't want

to rehash old ground, but it's

well known you thought it

would've been a terrible

legislation had been voted down mistake if the amended

and of course now there's been

a change of leadership and a

change of view, so you've had

to change your step as well. So

we won't rehash that, but it

must've been hard for you to do

that. Clearly you believe in

consistent this? Look, I've been

consistent in my view that

climate change is a very

important issue. As our new

leader has said we need to take

the time to get it right. It

was clear to me that many

people in my electorate weren't

sure what the details of an

emissions trading scheme were.

And it's important that we

listen to people and the whole

about listening to campaign in Brad field was

about listening to people. I

was constantly asked by

Canberra press gallery journalists, is climate change

the only thing people are

talking about? Quite the

Bradfield was overdevelopment contrary. The No. 1 issue in

up and counsel the Pacific

Highway with 5 and 6 storey

buildings being built there due

to State Labor's removal of the

manning powers, from

Ku-ring-gai council there was

Ku-ring-gai council there was a

range of local issues as well

as wider issues. Our campaign

responded to the issues that

were of concern to the people

of Bradfield. An interesting

battle has been developing

within the Liberal Party, that

is a philosophical one, the

divide between those who

describe themselves as true

Liberals and those who describe

Where where themselves as Conservatives.

Where where would you place

myself? I place myself as a

mainstream Liberal. I don't

think political parties should

indulge themselves in internal

division and discussion. We

need to focus on serving the

Australian people and offering

people a real alternative to the Rudd Labor Government.

We've seen an extraordinary

by the outburst of profligate spending

by the Rudd Labor Government.

We've seen very important

philosophical differences

emerge between the parties

which were important in the

Bradfield by-election. For

private health insurance, example, Labor's attack on

trying to reduce the number of

people who are eligible for the

private health insurance tax

rebate or Labor making it

harder for people to build up

superannuation balances by reducing the contribution

limits. All of those issues underline the important

underline the important

differences between the two

major parties and in the

Liberal Party we are determined

to offer a strong alternative

to Kevin Rudd's Labor as we

lead up to the general election

next year. Kevin Rudd, though,

and his Labor still seem to be

terribly popular in the polls.

What in your view is the key to

winning the next election? I

think the key is being responsive to the concerns of

Australians who are trying to

pay off the mortgage,

pay off the mortgage, trying to

have a good future for their

family. Trying to make sure

their kids get a good

education. All of those issues

which are the day-to-day

concerns to the Australian

electorate. We saw in the

by-election a significant swing

to the Liberal Party. I believe

that's reflective of the fact we

we are addressing the concerns

of Australians. Have you had

any key mentors coming into

this new job of being a federal

MP? There are a number of

senior Liberals for whom I have

enormous respect. Richard

Alston has been an enormous

source of inspiration to me of

the Nick Greiner, former New

South Wales premier and State

member for much of the area

which Bradfield covers

which Bradfield covers is in my

view an inspiration as somebody

who delivered major economic

reforms, focused on delivering

better lives and better

outcomes for the people he was serving. That's what political

parties have to do. Stay

focused on results rather than

internal game playing. We've

seen the terrible mess New

South Wales State Labor is in.

In the Liberal Party at both

State and federal level we are

determined to be responsive to

determined to be responsive to

the concerns and the needs and

the aspirations of the people

we are elected to serve. How

far do your political ambitions

go? Would they take you all the

way to the top job? My

ambition until Saturday was to

win the by-election. My

ambition now is to serve the

people of Bradfield as

effectively as I can. That's

will be my focus over the

foreseeable future. Look