Anthony Albanese will vow not to delay the Voice to parliament referendum and pledge to hold it this year, despite calls to defer the historic vote.
In a milestone speech to be delivered at the Garma Festival in Gulkula in north East Arnhem Land on Saturday, Mr Albanese will outline why he will reject overtures to delay the referendum as a matter of urgency for First Nations people.
“I can promise all of you – and all Australians – there will be no delaying or deferring this referendum,” Mr Albanese will says during his speech.
“We will not deny the urgency of this moment. We will not kick the can down the road.”
Recent polling has shown that over the last several months, the No vote has trended upward.
The Yes vote has begun to mobilise its campaign, with teams of volunteers to this weekend doorknock thousands of households across every state and territory.
Recently, Pro-voice Liberal MP Andrew Bragg called for the referendum to be delayed.
However, Mr Albanese will ignore such calls when he promises to hold the vote in the coming months.
In his speech, the Prime Minister will tell the crowd that there is no such thing as a “foregone conclusion” or any guarantees of success.
However, he will highlight gaps in life expectancy, suicide rates and rates of disease as reasons for holding the referendum as soon as possible.
“Their son is more likely to go to jail than university,” he will say in his speech.
“Their community twice as likely to be shattered by suicide.
“Their friends and relatives more likely to be afflicted by diseases virtually eliminated elsewhere.”
Despite the reassurances, Mr Albanese will not confirm the date for the referendum in his speech.
While he did rule out holding it on AFL grand final day on September 30, no firm date will be announced.
Australians are expected to have their say between September and December in the first referendum of this century.