Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull agrees to first online debate

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced the first online debate. Source: AAP

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has reached an agreement with Facebook and to hold the first online leader's debate.

An innovative prime minister needs an innovative election.

And that's why Malcolm Turnbull has agreed to participate in the first online leaders debate of the campaign.

The prime minister has reached an agreement with Facebook and for the debate, which is subject to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's participation.

He said it would enable millions of voters to participate in a platform that most Australians received their news from.

It would allow audiences to interact in a way the traditional media couldn't.

"This is the most exciting time to be an Australian and to participate in an election debate in the media of our time," Mr Turnbull told reporters in Picton, NSW on Tuesday.

Broadcasters will be able to show the debate, which could be held as soon as next week.

Mr Shorten later agreed to the debate, admitting it was the first time he'd heard about it.

"I'm happy to debate Mr Turnbull anytime, anywhere."

But he challenged Mr Turnbull to show up to a people's forum in Brisbane on Wednesday, after the prime minister confirmed he won't be attending.

Mr Turnbull said the Sky News broadcast debate had been issued like a "decree" and suggested his office should have been consulted privately beforehand.

"If he doesn't turn up tomorrow, it's an insult to Queenslanders," Mr Shorten said.

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