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Pocock calls out 'disingenuous' debate on the voice

Stephanie Gardiner/AAP PHOTOS

Politicians who tell voters there is not enough detail on the Indigenous voice are deeply troubling Senator David Pocock, who has described them as "disingenuous" and "disrespectful".

The independent senator told a NSW regional forum politicians know the parliament will legislate the detail of the voice if a 'yes' vote succeeds at the referendum.

"It's so disingenuous and deeply troubling to have politicians who are experienced, who know how things work in parliament, coming out saying that we don't have detail," Senator Pocock told an audience of about 100 people in Orange, in central western NSW, on Wednesday night.

"The parliament will decide on the detail - they will be involved in those discussions."

He said the "if you don't know, vote no" sentiment expressed by some in the 'no' camp was an affront to Australia's political system.

"I would urge my fellow parliamentarians to respect our democracy, to raise the level of debate, to try and stick to the facts," he said.

"Things like 'if you don't know, vote no' - that is disrespectful.

"If you don't know find out.

"People need to be informed when they vote, so they can hand-on-heart vote saying 'this is what I believe is the right decision'."

Senator Pocock said the proposed voice to parliament was symbolic but also deeply practical in ensuring First Nations people had a say on policies that impact them.

"You're sitting there in the Senate making decisions that are affecting people way out in the Northern Territory - you actually need to be able to hear from those people about the very unique circumstances," he said.

"All the policy that we've seen and reviewed, when communities are involved in the decision-making and program design, it seems like the programs are better."

Federal MP Andrew Gee said the voice could make lasting change by addressing lower life expectancy among Indigenous people, higher suicide rates, and widening education gaps.

"How can that be in this modern and prosperous country?" Mr Gee said.

"I believe it's the greatest country on this earth, but how can it be that that state of affairs exists?

"If you're not happy with that state of affairs, as many are not, then get out and support 'yes'."

Mr Gee, an independent who quit the National Party over its position on the voice, said he would not have been able to live with himself if he did not take a stand.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will reveal the date of the referendum in Adelaide on Wednesday, kick-starting the campaign for constitutional change.

It is widely expected the referendum will be held on October 14.

Jamie Newman, the head of the Orange Aboriginal Medical Service, told the forum First Nations people were asking for a fair go.

"From my understanding of Australia, that's what this country is built on - a fair go," Mr Newman said.

"We've lost sight of that over many years.

"Let's go back to that."