Shorten offers Turnbull help on republic

Bill Shorten has offered to work with the prime minister to make an Australian republic a reality. (AAP)

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has offered to help with the prime minister to make an Australian republic a reality.

Bill Shorten says the prime minister has put an Australian republic in the too-hard basket but has offered to work with Malcolm Turnbull to make the change a reality.

Mr Shorten said it was disappointing the prime minister was unwilling to be more ambitious after Mr Turnbull restated his belief a republic wouldn't happen until after the Queen's reign.

"I've written to Mr Turnbull offering to work with him to kickstart discussion about how we make an Australian public a reality," Mr Shorten said while travelling in Israel.

Speaking at the 25th anniversary of the Australian Republic Movement he helped found, Mr Turnbull advocated a grassroots approach to reviving a push for a referendum and said an initial advisory vote should be held to determine what form a republic would take.

Any move had to be genuinely popular, otherwise the lessons from the failed 1999 referendum hadn't been learned, Mr Turnbull said at the weekend.

Mr Shorten reiterated his support to work towards a referendum, but took aim at Mr Turnbull for pumping the brakes on the push for an Australian head of state.

"He's squibbed it (on) climate change, then marriage equality, then housing affordability - and it seems the republic is too hard for Malcolm Turnbull," the Labor leader said.

"It's time for some leadership here."

Mr Turnbull urged republicans to build a grassroots movement, saying only a genuine popular push would lead to change.

Source AAP

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