An Anglican bishop has suggested Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten hold a private meeting with Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove to agree on strategies aimed at preventing the upcoming federal election campaign from descending into "negativity and blaming".

Melbourne Bishop Philip Huggins, who convenes the Anglican church's refugee and asylum working group, believes such a meeting could be a "nation-building demonstration of leadership" and that it would enable the leaders to seek consensus on issues such as asylum seekers.

In a statement issued today, he said while both leaders wanted to "stop the boats" and neither wants to be seen as encouraging asylum seekers, "yet both share the reality of Manus and Nauru". "Both know there is no third country about to take these folk," he said, adding that by meeting together, "they might find a way forward".

The bishop said comments from Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, who this week blamed refugee advocates for the attempted suicides of asylum seekers, and the response they received, hadn't provided a solution, "just division".

Bishop Huggins has suggested the leaders agree on an amnesty for those being housed in detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island in order to break the deadlock current policy has imposed. He said other matters which could benefit from a bipartisan approach could include combatting terrorism without radicalising disengaged youth, promoting social cohesion and multi-culturalism and recognising Australia's Indigenous people in the constitution.

Australians are expected to go to the polls on 2nd July.

~ www.melbourneanglicans.org.au