Voice failure would damage Australia image

Australia's international standing would take a hit if it votes down an Indigenous voice to parliament, Anthony Albanese says.

The prime minister made the comments on Tuesday, referring to the proposed body as a "very gracious request from Indigenous people".

Australia is set to head to a referendum later this year to vote for enshrining the Indigenous voice in the constitution but the Liberal party is calling for more detail on the body before it announces a formal position.

Mr Albanese said he hoped Australia would come together and back the proposal.

"It would send a bad message (on) reconciliation (if the referendum was unsuccessful) but it would also send a bad message in the way that Australia is perceived internationally," he told Sydney radio 2GB.

"This is an opportunity to unite the nation, a chance to move Australia forward together, to show that we're a mature nation."

Mr Albanese lamented the coalition's continued calls for more detail on the proposal, saying "it's a lot easier to appeal to fear rather than hope".

"I believe Australians, when they consider these issues over the period of this year, I sincerely hope a majority of them do decide to vote yes," he said.

"Just as with the apology to the stolen generations there were a whole lot of issues raised ... I don't think anyone, even those who opposed the apology, now say that was the wrong thing to do."

But Liberal leader Peter Dutton refused to accept the voice would simply be an advisory body, saying a 2021 report by Indigenous academics Marcia Langton and Tom Calma that Mr Albanese had referred to went beyond the concept.

"It talks about how it may choose other matters to provide advice on if the High Court interprets it," he told ABC 7.30.

"I don't accept this proposition that foreign affairs or defence or education policy or any other policy affects Indigenous Australians more or less than what it does Australians living across the country more generally.

"I'm waiting for the detail and I've been respectful of the process ... I don't think it's unreasonable (Mr Albanese) puts the detail forward."