Bob Hawke's advice for Malcolm Turnbull: 'resign'

Former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke has told a Queensland crowd he would have one piece of advice for current PM Malcolm Turnbull - resign.

Mr Hawke, a nine-year veteran of the Woodford Folk Festival in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, also told festival-goers he thought Mr Turnbull was "ashamed" about giving up his principles for a shot at the Liberal leadership.

When asked whether he would offer Mr Turnbull advice, 88-year-old Mr Hawke said he would tell the PM to give the game away.

"I have a theory that Malcolm is basically ashamed, by that I mean Malcolm had to give up certain issues that he believed in to get the numbers to roll (former prime minister) Tony Abbott," Mr Hawke said.

"I generally think Malcolm is ashamed of that, and if you're ashamed of what you've done to get the leadership it's a pretty unsound basis for leadership."

Mr Hawke then directly addressed the absent Prime Minister.

"Put any feeling of shame behind you, get on with the job and particularly see if you can get some bipartisan understanding with Bill Shorten about important issues, particularly climate change," he said.

"Get on with the job and get some bi-partisan leadership."

Mr Hawke said the Australian people needed to get more involved in political parties and more should be done to encourage a democratic process.

Mr Hawke also supported what Aboriginal lawyer and activist Noel Pearson told the Woodford crowd on Thursday about the need of an Indigenous advisory body in government.

"We must be honest with ourselves that this great gap between the original Australians and the rest is far too wide," he said.

When asked why Australia had seen a such a quick succession of prime ministers, the four-term Labor PM said social media had played a role.

This story Bob Hawke's advice for Malcolm Turnbull: 'resign' first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.