Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt has conceded a referendum on recognising indigenous people in the constitution is unlikely in this term of parliament.
Mr Wyatt said the Morrison government remained committed to a referendum.
"We have always said this would be done when consensus was built and it has the best chance of success. It is unlikely this will happen in this term of parliament," he said on Friday.
An indigenous voice to government will be pursued before a referendum.
"Constitutional recognition is too important too rush and too important to fail. We will not be placing a timeline on this process," Mr Wyatt said.
The indigenous affairs minister had pushed for a referendum in this term of parliament, which is due to expire in 2022, but Scott Morrison had rejected the timetable.