The Australian government has confirmed plans for legislation next week to cut Norfolk Island's autonomy, but local government still wants the people to have a say.
Canberra's changes include bringing in personal and business taxes while making available the services provided to Australians on the mainland.
The Norfolk Island chief minister, Lisle Snell says some locals are happy with the change, but they still do not know how it will impact on them.
He says this is why the island's government wants a referendum.
"It will give us, the government, an indication what the people on Norfolk Island really feel about this. The referendum question has to be couched in such a manner that it will satisfy both those who are for this reform change and those that see the dangers of it."