Addressing the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic is a top priority for Anthony Albanese along with mending regional relationships.
But the new prime minister says his Labor government will also engage more with the opposition in parliament to better serve all Australians.
Mr Albanese revealed he enjoys a much better relationship with Peter Dutton - the man most likely to lead the Liberal party in parliament - than he had with outgoing prime minister Scott Morrison.
"Peter Dutton has never broken a confidence or his word with me," he told ABC TV on Thursday.
"That is a good place to start ... I want to work across the parliament, wherever possible."
Mr Albanese said it was very important the prime minister and opposition leader were able to exchange ideas and information and get cooperation wherever possible.
In a sign pointing to a less personally-confrontational approach to federal politics, the prime minister said one of his senior MPs made a mistake likening Mr Dutton to the Harry Potter villain Lord Voldemort.
Tanya Plibersek had "unreservedly" apologised for the remark.
"It shouldn't have been said," Mr Albanese said.
The prime minister will be briefed on Australia's fight against the coronavirus pandemic, seen as a top priority for his newly-elected government.
He is also expected to meet with the state and territory leaders to address Australia's health response.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he had not been told when the first national cabinet meeting would be held.
He spoke to his NSW counterpart Dominic Perrottet on Wednesday night and said an end to he 50/50 health funding split with the Commonwealth was likely to be on the agenda.
"I'm not a spokesman for the national cabinet or for states and territories," Mr Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.
"But I think it's fair to assume, and from my discussions with first minister colleagues, those cuts in September are a real issue for us."
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Penny Wong is visiting Fiji on Thursday in a bid to cement Australia's relationship with the Pacific nation amid growing Chinese influence in the region.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will also visit Fiji and the Solomon Islands as part of a Pacific tour.
Senator Wong said she would become a frequent visitor to the region in the lead-up to the Pacific Islands Forum.
"China has made its intentions clear, so too are the intentions of the new Australian government," Senator Wong said.
"We want to help build a stronger Pacific family."
Mr Albanese says the outgoing Morrison government "dropped the ball" on Australia's relationship with the Pacific, and has vowed to take the region's changing geostrategic environment seriously.
Australia was paying a heavy price for cuts to foreign aid and his government would restore that.
"International aid is not only the right thing to do for developing countries, it is in our national interest to engage and to provide support to developing nations," he told Sky News on Thursday.
"Under my government, there will be front and centre support."
Australian Associated Press
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