The Government has previously said it won’t proceed with the legislation without support from the opposition, however the attorney-general said on Friday he has had productive talks his counterpart on the opposition benches.

“We’re very happy to keep talking about this, but we can’t allow this to drag out,” he told ABC’s RN.

“Right now is a very good time for us to try and come together and legislate in a way that unites the country that protects kids and teachers and protects people of faith.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has cited social cohesion, which came to the fore last week after the Sydney stabbing attacks, as the reason behind a refusal to publish a draft of the legislation.

LGBTQI advocates have been calling on Labor to publicly release the proposal for community consultation.

Dreyfus said he recently had a positive discussion with his opposition counterpart Michaelia Cash about the laws which would protect teachers and students from being discriminated against in schools.

“If we don’t reach an agreement that will be a matter of extreme regret for me.”

Dreyfus said the Government was seeking to legislate the proposal around the middle of this year, but wouldn’t confirm if it would be shelved if Labor can’t secure the support.

“This is an opportunity to unite the country and to show that consistently with long established Australian values, we can be a community that treats each other with respect,” he said.

The Greens and crossbench have offered to work with the Government on the legislation and criticised it for trying to do a deal with the opposition behind closed doors.

A report released by Equality Australia in late March said LGBTQI discrimination is “endemic” in religious schools and organisations across the country.

with AAP