The government on Norfolk Island fears it will lose its democracy if Canberra pushes ahead with plans to reduce the powers of its parliament.
It says it must consult the island's people.
The Chief Minister, Lisle Snell, says the changes the Australian government has in mind would end the island's ability to legislate on education, policing, social welfare, health and other matters.
He says Norfolk has controlled these aspects of government since 1979 and any change should only be made with input from the islanders themselves.
"If they reduce us down to the lowest level of local government we will probably not have any basis for a legislature in the affairs of 'Peace, Order and Good Government.' We may have the rights of authority over such things as garbage collection, mowing lawns and things like that but it would certainly be a retrograde step in Norfolk Island to lose the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly."