Former prime minister Tony Abbott says “all the detail” behind an Indigenous Voice to parliament should be released before Australians vote in a referendum.

Many advocates of the constitutional change, which Labor promised to deliver this term, say the question needs to be kept as simple as possible in order to maximise the “yes” vote and get it approved.

They say the detail of how the Voice operates can be added once national endorsement is received for the broader concept.

However, Mr Abbott said such a strategy was flawed.

“I think the opposition is right in the first instance to demand all the detail from the government,” Mr Abbott told ABC radio on Tuesday.

“Personally, I am very, very, very uncomfortable with this Voice.

“I’m uncomfortable with what Malcolm Turnbull called the third chamber of parliament (and) I’m uncomfortable with electing a body that’s determined by race.”

He said a simple referendum question amounted to a national request for a “blank cheque”.

“If the people are asked to vote in favour of an entirely unspecified Voice, the natural response will be to say: ‘Well, if you don’t know, vote no’,” the former Liberal leader said.

“And the last thing we want is a referendum designed to forward reconciliation which is defeated and inevitably puts reconciliation back.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese used his post-election victory speech to underline his promise of a referendum on the Voice, which is a key plank of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney has pledged a comprehensive public education campaign before the vote is held.