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Turnbull calls on Shorten to be 'fair dinkum'

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 8/11/2017 9NEWS

Today co-host Karl Stefanovic has questioned whether Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is getting away from the central issue in the citizenship crisis.

Speaking on the show this morning, Mr Turnbull pleaded with Oppositon leader Bill Shorten to be "fair dinkum" about resolving the crisis.

It comes after Mr Shorten spoke with Deb Knight earlier in the show, where he urged the government to meet the High Court's requirements.

After Mr Turnbull described the "media witch hunt" surrounding Energy Minister Josh Frydnberg's citizenship, Stefanovic said: "With the greatest respect, this is part of the problem, you're getting bogged down in the minutiae when you should be running the country."

Mr Turnbull then responded by saying his government was "getting on with the job" including today's APEC meetings.

"I'm good in a crisis Karl, everyone else gets frenzied," Mr Turnbull said.

"The High Court has presented us with a big challenge, they have said it doesn't mater if you didn't know about it (your citizenship) or not.

"We took a different approach; if you're born in Australia, then foreign citizenship by descent shouldn't disqualify you."

Mr Turnbull took aim at Mr Shorten for not coming to yesterday's meeting with anything to contribute.

"I sat with my iPad for two hours with him... and he said he had to get advice and consult. Between he and Penny Wong, they couldn't come up with any amendment.

"Time is moving on. What he has to decide is if he's fair dinkum and whether he wants to resolve this problem or exploit it."

Earlier in the show, Mr Shorten called on the prime minister to meet the criteria set out by the High Court.

"There are two points where I and the prime minister currently disagree," Mr Shorten said. 

"I'm concerned that Mr Turnbull's first pass at trying to resolve the matter doesn't really enforce the High Court's interpretation of the constitution.

"There is no point coming up with a solution in parliament which then doesn't pass the muster in the courts."

Mr Shorten said the situation could be resolved before Christmas, and declared Friday December 1 would be the day to release Labor's documents on the citizenship status of sitting MPs.

"All that we are asking is that if your parents or grandparents were born overseas, that the parliamentarian has taken reasonable steps to investigate and rescuse any potential foreign citizenship.

"This is a crisis which is stopping the government getting on with its day job."

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