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Ideas@TheCentre

Ideas@TheCentre brings you ammunition for conversations around the table.  3 short articles from CIS researchers emailed every Friday on the issues of the week.

  • Your Bumper, Blockbuster, Holiday-Issue Ideas@TheCentre

    19 Dec 2014

    With CIS taking a break over the holiday season, we wanted to bring you a special issue of Ideas to finish the year.  So our researchers and senior staff have summed up the most memorable... Read More

  • Kinship placements risk creating a Lost Generation

    12 Dec 2014

    To talk of adoption in relation to Indigenous children is to invite the politically explosive claim that this would create ‘another Stolen Generation’. Read More

  • Trans-Tasman harmonisation... a bridge too far

    12 Dec 2014

    Abandonment of ANZTIPA seems hard to reconcile with the Australian Government’s declared agenda for deregulation and competitiveness and represents a symbolic blow to a long standing agenda for closer... Read More

  • What to give a child who can't read?

    05 Dec 2014

    Many of the programs dreamt up by the two major political parties would be difficult to justify for inclusion in a school education budget. Read More

  • Lambie off to bad start with meaningless ANPHA stand

    28 Nov 2014

    On her first full day as an independent, Jacquie Lambie joined three other crossbench senators in pointlessly thwarting the government’s bill to formalise the abolition of the Australian National Preventive... Read More

  • Health reform needs a 'Plan B'

    28 Nov 2014

    This is the attitude that advocates of health reform must adopt now that the Abbott government’s co-payment initiative appears doomed to defeat. Read More

  • The Grey Army of early Newstart retirees

    21 Nov 2014

    The Abbott government chalked up a modest win this week with the first of its social services budget measures passed by the Senate with the help of Labor and Senators Day, Leyonhjelm and Muir. One budget... Read More

  • The third retirement pillar - home equity and pension inequity

    21 Nov 2014

    The system for supporting retired Australians is said to rest on three pillars: the age pension, superannuation and the family home. Read More

  • Child Protection: too few adoptions mean too much of everything else

    14 Nov 2014

    Rather than not doing enough early intervention, the problem with the child protection system is that we have too much of everything. Read More

  • Courage is needed right now to fix childcare

    07 Nov 2014

    What cannot be categorically denied is that the burden of the National Quality Framework on providers’ operating costs comes mostly from the increases in mandatory minimum standards. Read More

  • Combating (genuine) poverty need not punish 'the rich'

    24 Oct 2014

    By defining poverty in these terms, the focus is shifted away from living standards towards income inequality so that poverty can only be eradicated through an extreme policy of income redistribution that... Read More

  • Integrating insurance with health service provision - a volatile partnership

    24 Oct 2014

    It is rare for a large provider of medical services to assume control of a health insurance company. Read More

  • Value of economic education

    17 Oct 2014

    Rather than simplifying advanced subjects for small kids, we’d be better off teaching small kids to read and count properly so that in high school they are equipped to study any advanced course effectively. Read More

  • Let them divest, but not with taxpayers cake

    17 Oct 2014

    Unless the ANU’s new strategy mentions an exciting new investment in magic beans, if it’s not imposing greater costs on the taxpayers then it really shouldn’t be the business of government. Read More

  • Stubbing out Carmen leaves smokescreen on money-go-round

    10 Oct 2014

    With so much government money sloshing around, censoring the arts for fear of promoting something unsavoury is inevitably a political decision—and one that should be seen for what it is. Read More

  • The Prime Minister might be a feminist

    03 Oct 2014

    The Prime Minister has attracted some ire previously by calling himself a feminist. This week he once again proved he either definitively is one or definitely isn’t one—depending on which of the increasingly... Read More

  • There is no 'right' to help yourself to the taxes of others

    03 Oct 2014

    Political, social or economic problems are readily cast as human rights issue these days. Read More

  • Don't Save the Charity Commission

    03 Oct 2014

    An interesting letter arrived at the CIS office this week. Dr Andrew Leigh MP wrote to inform the Centre that ‘Kevin Andrews and the Coalition Government want to abolish the Australian Charities and... Read More

  • A balancing act: home schooling regulation

    26 Sep 2014

    Currently, home schooling families are doing all the work in their relationship with the state and getting little in return, receiving no educational or financial support. Nevertheless, home schooling... Read More

  • Hard conversation about Aboriginal culture and child protection

    19 Sep 2014

    Conservative social commentators have indulged in 'divisive grandstanding' by linking Aboriginal culture to the abuse and neglect of Aboriginal children, according to Ngiare Brown, the deputy chairman... Read More

  • Time-limits the alternative to waiting times for the dole

    12 Sep 2014

    Among the most controversial of the measures announced in the May budget was the move to deny 15 to 29-year-olds access to unemployment benefits for up to six months. Read More

  • The two sides of preventive health

    05 Sep 2014

    Two news stories from the past fortnight ought to be considered side by side, in each other's light. The first is a conference held in late August at the University of Sydney on the legacy of the Australian... Read More

  • Using school data wisely

    05 Sep 2014

    This week in education policy the spotlight has been on the appropriate use of performance data. Two new reports questioned the validity of looking to East Asian school systems for guidance on Australian... Read More

  • Robin Hood is alive and well in Australia

    29 Aug 2014

    Critics of budget measures appear to believe that social benefits both individually and in aggregate should only ever go one way (up) and that the desirability of more redistribution is a given. Read More

  • Making work, not the dole, the easier option

    29 Aug 2014

    If we want to uphold the moral principle that those who can work should work, we cannot afford to make life on the dole the easier option. Read More

  • Sorting child protection facts from fiction

    22 Aug 2014

    Ideology and propaganda often gets in the way of a clear-eyed view of the problems in the child protection system. The first task for the South Australian Royal Commission will be to sort fact from fiction,... Read More

  • Evidence on childcare twisted by special interests

    22 Aug 2014

    There is no reason why the new minimum standards and quality regulations for Child Care and Early Learning should be considered a sacred cow. Read More

  • NSW government gets it right on reading instruction

    15 Aug 2014

    The best way to improve the quality of school education is to ensure that there is a good, if not great, teacher in every classroom every day. Read More

  • No crisis but DSP still needs reform

    15 Aug 2014

    Calling the recent growth in DSP a crisis is hyperbole. Two thirds of the increase has come from declining economic conditions and mistakes in Australia's income support policy framework that can be rectified. Read More

  • A clearer payments system needed to help families

    08 Aug 2014

    Current budget conditions necessitate not just spending cuts, but a broader look at policy analysis and reform, particularly in the family payments system. Read More

  • Free to choose in health

    01 Aug 2014

    There are good lessons to learn from our Save-As-You-Go superannuation system when it comes to funding healthcare. Read More

  • Don't take the wrong lesson from latest cult case

    01 Aug 2014

    The Four Corners expose on the cult of Christian Assemblies International does not provide evidence that there needs to be a charities regulator. Read More

  • Unemployment - one size fits some

    01 Aug 2014

    The biggest drawback to recent welfare reform plans on unemployment is in wrongly treating the unemployed as a homogenous mass. Read More

  • Australian teachers face significant classroom challenges

    25 Jul 2014

    Teachers in Australia need to be well-prepared for challenges with rigorous and comprehensive teacher education. Read More

  • Welfare review flags significant reforms for public housing

    18 Jul 2014

    Aligning public housing subsidies in favour of a flat rate of assistance would improve workforce participation incentives. Read More

  • Does fair paid parental leave mean taxpayers cop the bill?

    11 Jul 2014

    The Coalition’s paid parental leave proposal sends a clear message that the parenting of some is superior to that of others. Read More

  • Learning from our preventive health failures

    04 Jul 2014

    We need to understand the shortcomings of the national preventive health agency to avoid repeating the same mistakes. Read More

  • Income management is mutual obligation writ large

    04 Jul 2014

    A common objection to income management is that it makes unemployment benefits conditional and is paternalistic, but this is already the case. Read More

  • Will defunding school chaplains mean smaller government?

    20 Jun 2014

    Why should taxpayers fund the general provision of religious services anywhere? Read More

  • Teaching to the tests

    13 Jun 2014

    A large proportion of pre-service teachers lack strong literacy skills, which are necessary to teach children well. Read More

  • Free movement of labour bad for Britain's youth

    06 Jun 2014

    A free EU labour market is bad for many young, relatively low intelligence, poorly-educated, and often lazy Brits who remain on welfare. Read More

  • Sharing the budget pain without increasing taxes

    30 May 2014

    To share the budget pain, we must all go without things for which we’ve relied on the government and learn to take greater responsibility. Read More

  • Follow the French: Charge patients for public hospital accommodation

    23 May 2014

    State governments could charge a daily accommodation fee for inpatient public hospital services to show that public health services are not free. Read More

  • Gen Y to Vilma: Age pensioners are going to be just fine

    23 May 2014

    For all the posturing, it is not clear from the budget papers exactly how age pensioners are being picked at. Read More

  • The looming task of childcare

    16 May 2014

    If the costs of childcare subsidies are ever going to be brought under control, there needs to be significant changes to the underlying policies Read More

  • PPL back-down: Symbolism not Budget repair

    09 May 2014

    The reduction in the paid parental leave cap in the government’s proposed PPL scheme is a largely symbolic gesture. Read More

  • Should the private health insurance rebate be abandoned?

    09 May 2014

    The private health insurance rebate levels the playing field between public and private hospitals but needs to be better targeted. Read More

  • Finding savings in education

    02 May 2014

    Government funding for schools has been rising consistently for decades, with no improvement in student outcomes. Read More

  • Bulging waistlines threaten to slim taxpayer's wallets

    24 Apr 2014

    Researchers at Monash University are touting the benefits of gastric band surgery for Type 2 diabetics who are merely overweight (body mass index 25-30), not obese (BMI 30+). Read More

  • National adoption targets

    17 Apr 2014

    Child protection policies designed to solve yesterday’s mistakes are causing serious problems today. Read More

  • Paid Parental Leave: Is it really going to pay for the age pension?

    17 Apr 2014

    Is the government’s proposed paid parental leave scheme really about getting people back to work so they can pay for the pensions of tomorrow? Read More

  • Sale of Medibank Private

    11 Apr 2014

    There is no case for public ownership of Medibank Private. Read More

  • Re-moralising the pension

    11 Apr 2014

    What was the original purpose of the old age pension and how far have we strayed from this? Read More

  • Equal under the law - and no exceptions

    04 Apr 2014

    Far from increasing social cohesion, identity politics makes living with difference harder. Read More

  • No apology necessary, Jenny Macklin

    28 Mar 2014

    The former Labor government did not get it wrong on single parent income support entitlements, and there is no reason for Jenny Macklin to apologise. Read More

  • Busting the myths of the paid parental leave scheme

    21 Mar 2014

    The government’s $5.5 billion paid parental scheme sits uncomfortably alongside rhetoric about the end of the age of entitlement and the need for tough choices. Read More

  • Insulting the rich for giving to charity

    14 Mar 2014

    Do the rich give too much money to charity or too little? Read More

  • Getting the most bang for our hospital bucks

    07 Mar 2014

    Only through structural reform and by exposing public hospitals to competitive pressures will we discover the true efficient price of hospital care. Read More

  • DSP: The not so universal payment

    07 Mar 2014

    We need to provide income support payments that reflect the work capacities of those with a disability that does not encourage them to opt out of participation. Read More

  • Curriculum and teacher education review: a necessary evil

    28 Feb 2014

    Ideally, we would be to have no national curriculum since such a beast will always be politicised and biased, but at the least, it needs to be scrutinised. Read More

  • Childcare: a case study in regulatory capture

    21 Feb 2014

    It’s time to look at how we can create a functional and accessible childcare system. Read More

  • Healing our fractured families

    14 Feb 2014

    As non-traditional family arrangements win broader social acceptance, there is an increasing reluctance to speak out about the dangers posed to children. Read More

  • Solutions are the problems for FGM

    14 Feb 2014

    Female genital mutilation is perhaps the most wicked problem facing governments in multicultural Western societies. Read More

  • Put charities commission on backburner

    07 Feb 2014

    Australia can abandon our experiment with the failed model of charity regulation after just one year, rather than wait for half a decade like NZ has done. Read More

  • Family breakdown puts children at risk

    31 Jan 2014

    People need to be aware that relationship and reproductive choices can have adverse implications for children. Read More

  • Welfare review has serious blind spots

    24 Jan 2014

    Family Tax Benefit should be a target of scrutiny, yet the welfare review announced by the government has excluded it. Read More

  • Perhaps Newstart doesn't require a new start

    17 Jan 2014

    Kevin Andrews’ idea to create multiple tiers of the DSP and Newstart would blur the necessary line between what constitutes a pension and what constitutes an allowance. Read More

  • Does PISA mean we should give a Gonski?

    06 Dec 2013

    The latest PISA report showed Australia’s international ranking had dropped, which was widely interpreted as a sign of a dire decline in student performance. Read More

  • Gonski funding model lost in translation

    29 Nov 2013

    The Gonksi model’s simple features and its neutral approach to funding schools in different sectors were lost in the translation to Better Schools. Read More

  • Simplify family payments system

    22 Nov 2013

    Family benefits cost the Australian taxpayer $20 billion last year and an unacceptably high proportion of that total was directed to families with the means to take care of themselves. Read More

  • COAG 'reforms' fail to fix public hospitals

    08 Nov 2013

    A micro-economic reform agenda needs to be implemented in the public hospital sector to raise productivity. Read More

  • We're less trusting and less welcoming; but we're still happy

    25 Oct 2013

    A new social cohesion report shows trust levels in Australia are falling and we’re becoming less tolerant of others, which could impact our affection for multiculturalism. Read More

  • We're less trusting and less welcoming; but we're still happy

    25 Oct 2013

    A new social cohesion report shows trust levels in Australia are falling and we’re becoming less tolerant of others, which could impact our affection for multiculturalism. Read More

  • Solving the looming crisis facing health system

    18 Oct 2013

    Public hospital governance should be devolved to the local level to deliver better productivity and performance.   Read More

  • The ironies of public health policy

    11 Oct 2013

    Policy makers would be better off recognising the limits of government activity in relation to fixing obesity rather than pouring more money into it. Read More

  • Why Jaydon can't read

    04 Oct 2013

    Literacy policy has been routinely undermined by policy makers ignoring evidence of what works when teaching kids to read. Read More

  • Voluntary student unionism

    27 Sep 2013

    The fight for VSU and against compulsory up-front fees at universities is justified to reduce costs and give students more freedom about their education. Read More

  • Is Britain's health care the envy of the world?

    20 Sep 2013

    New statistics show English hospitals perform far worse than those elsewhere in the developed world, and show the public’s faith in socialised health care systems is misplaced. Read More

  • Affordable health and ageing policy in Singapore

    20 Sep 2013

    Reforming the health system to increase personal responsibility and flexibility should be a priority for Abbott, who could look to Singapore for guidance on dealing with an ageing population. Read More

  • Coalition education policy takes an epicurean turn

    13 Sep 2013

    Australian taxpayers are the often unacknowledged patrons of ARC research and should receive value for their money. Read More

  • Crushing red tape for charities

    06 Sep 2013

    Labor wants to keep the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission, while the Coalition wants to abolish it. Read More

  • Collapse in youth participation rate

    30 Aug 2013

    An important fact missing from the political debate is that Australia’s youth participation rate is at its lowest ebb in recorded history. Read More

  • The enemy within NSW child protection

    23 Aug 2013

    Stopping Goward’s push for adoption is the real objective of the ‘caseworker shortage strike.’ Read More

  • Rudd's after school care cash splash

    09 Aug 2013

    Rudd’s $450 million new funding for before- and after-school care is a worrying leap away from how child care has traditionally been perceived. Read More

  • Not looking for work

    02 Aug 2013

    The government has managed to hide the unemployed on unemployment benefits and effectively reduced the unemployment rate in Australia. Read More

  • Government is the cause of the aged care crisis

    19 Jul 2013

    The media focus on the latest crisis to hit the aged care sector should lead to some sensible policy changes. Read More

  • Australians want opportunity, not equality

    19 Jul 2013

    Concerns about rising income inequality in Australia such as those from Andrew Leigh MP’s latest book Battlers and Billionaires are misplaced. Read More

  • On the trappings of power

    12 Jul 2013

    A seat in the Royal Box at Wimbledon is one of those perks top politicians come to expect, even those who say they hate privilege. Read More

  • From parenting payment to prostitution?

    12 Jul 2013

    Claims that people on welfare are being ‘forced’ into prostitution because of cuts to welfare should be treated with scepticism. Read More

  • The Snowden scandal is a hollow victory for Beijing

    21 Jun 2013

    The moral malaise at the heart of Washington’s intelligence apparatus seems mild when compared to Beijing’s use of surveillance. Read More

  • The moral case for a smaller state

    14 Jun 2013

    People need to be able to sort out their own problems, rather than having the state take this responsibility away from them. Read More

  • Gender quotas un-egalitarian

    07 Jun 2013

    It is legitimate to question the role affirmative action may have played in the government’s fate. Read More

  • Avoiding the carbon tax compensation nightmare

    07 Jun 2013

    Little has been said about the Coalition’s backflip on its promise to abolish the carbon tax compensation package. Read More

  • The classical liberal view from Beijing

    31 May 2013

    With global leadership slipping away from the United States, will China seek to shape the world in the image of its brand of enlightened authoritarianism? Read More

  • A tale of two houses

    24 May 2013

    For years, excuses have been used to hide the discriminatory state and federal policies that deny individual property rights on Indigenous land. Read More

  • Education is key for Aboriginal Australia

    24 May 2013

    This budget is further evidence that governments remain addicted to spending, and that is why it is time for TARGET30. Read More

  • Timid cuts to middle class welfare

    17 May 2013

    The budget has delivered a new tax and some tinkering with the FTB system to pay for DisabilityCare instead of serious reforms to age or disability pensions. Read More

  • Fair go fear-mongering flies in the face of facts

    10 May 2013

    Swan’s fair go fear-mongering is unfounded. Australians from even the poorest and least educated families are entering the ranks of the nation’s wealthiest and best educated. Read More

  • Prospects for NDIS blowout

    10 May 2013

    The NDIS could experience average annual growth of around 8% per year, which would make the entire scheme financial unsustainable in the long run. Read More

  • How to save the health system

    03 May 2013

    Creating a health savings-based system would go a long way in solving the affordability problems facing Medicare. Read More

  • Funding students based on Indigeneity demeaning and wasteful

    03 May 2013

    The Labor government continues to ignore the overwhelming evidence that funding is not a principal constraint on Indigenous educational outcomes in Australia. Read More

  • Requiem for a reformer

    19 Apr 2013

    Thatcher’s people – and protestors – turn up in the thousands to farewell a giant of the twentieth century. Read More

  • Time to make a deal

    19 Apr 2013

    In rejecting a pretty good funding school model because it is not perfect, we may end up with something much worse. Read More

  • Bottom up and entrepreneurial, not top down bureaucratic health reform

    05 Apr 2013

    Cost-effective ways to deliver health care are essential to addressing the financial burdens associated with an ageing population. Read More

  • Reforming the welfare state

    28 Mar 2013

    Of the $316 billion spent on the welfare state in 2010-11, over half was on tax welfare churn. Read More

  • The phantom coup and poll-driven politics

    28 Mar 2013

    Pointing the finger at the apparent shortcomings of Australia’s political culture is a convenient explanation for the recent bout of infighting among key ALP figures. Read More

  • Easy moralism on forced adoption ‘sorry’

    22 Mar 2013

    The apology on forced adoption condemned the sins of the past, while ignoring the current day sins of ‘enlightened’ social policies that are toxic for child welfare. Read More

  • Don’t blame corporate sector for low Indigenous employment

    22 Mar 2013

    Look to education rather than blaming the corporate sector for low Indigenous employment. Read More

  • Fairness in the welfare state

    15 Mar 2013

    The welfare state must stop rewarding irresponsible behaviour and distinguish between deserving and undeserving cases. Read More

  • Health savings a super idea

    08 Mar 2013

    TARGET30 seems to promote better and more sustainable ways to deliver high-quality health services for all Australians. Read More

  • A European-style welfare crisis for Australia?

    08 Mar 2013

    Future levels of welfare spending are setting Australia on the path of a European style catastrophe. Read More

  • Time for some commonsense in Indigenous affairs

    01 Mar 2013

    Marcia Langton this week called for more partnerships between Indigenous communities and high-performing schools. Read More

  • We should avoid an unwarranted Asian Century cultural cringe

    22 Feb 2013

    Australians apparently lack the sensitivity and understanding to effectively compete in Asian markets. Read More

  • Victorian revival highlights lost ground on child welfare

    15 Feb 2013

    Failure to regularly send children to school symbolises the breakdown of behavioural standards. Read More

  • NDIS cost blowout has begun

    15 Feb 2013

    The government is starting to buckle over the NDIS as certain groups ramp up pressure to expand eligibility for the scheme. Read More

  • Multiculturalists bury heads in sand

    08 Feb 2013

    Legitimate concerns about immigration leading to ethnic or religious-based social division need to be addressed. Read More

  • Karate Line

    08 Feb 2013

    Are welfare payments supposed to provide basic support or much more? Read More

  • Justice Reinvestment no ‘panacea’ to prison

    01 Feb 2013

    To address the underlying causes of Indigenous offending, we need to focus on education and employment. Read More

  • Language policy gone loco

    01 Feb 2013

    A target of 40 per cent of Year 12 students studying LOTE is loco. Read More

  • Australia Day, Invasion Day or Survival Day?

    25 Jan 2013

    Many Aboriginal people view Australia Day as a day of mourning and refer to it as Invasion Day or Survival Day. Read More

  • Legitimation crisis

    18 Jan 2013

    Can a liberal, democratic nation survive mass disillusion and distrust? Read More

  • Privatising public health services - sleeping giant of IR debate

    18 Jan 2013

    Microeconomic reform is essential in the public health sector to get more and better services for each health dollar spent. Read More

  • Improving welfare or wasting money?

    11 Jan 2013

    The debate over the adequacy of the dole has again flared up. Read More

  • Overrated PISA envy

    14 Dec 2012

    Are international assessments appropriate benchmarks for educational quality? Read More

  • Crying foul over alcohol laws

    14 Dec 2012

    The Aboriginal Industry focuses on racism rather than supporting practical measures to address Indigenous disadvantage. Read More

  • Right idea, wrong approach

    30 Nov 2012

    Aboriginal people living on Indigenous land should have the same opportunities for private homeownership as all other Australians. Read More

  • Making people worse off

    30 Nov 2012

    A serious attempt to reform welfare payments must be made in Australia. Read More

  • Making the moral case for capitalism

    23 Nov 2012

    Popular conceptions of capitalism are tinged with images of indecency, rapaciousness and greed. Read More

  • Mead: Dutiful but defeated

    23 Nov 2012

    People on welfare should never be better off than those who work. Read More

  • An NDIS tax?

    23 Nov 2012

    The NDIS will start big and get bigger rapidly, and grow to become the new leviathan of the Australian welfare state. Read More

  • NDIS: The New Leviathan

    16 Nov 2012

    The NDIS will start big and get bigger rapidly, and grow to become the new leviathan of the Australian welfare state. Read More

  • The emperor’s new clothes

    16 Nov 2012

    We need to start treating Indigenous disadvantage as a problem that can be solved. Read More

  • Adoption: Proof think tanks CAN DO

    02 Nov 2012

    There is still a long way to go to lift the official ‘taboo’ on adoption. Read More

  • The MYEFO pork barrel

    26 Oct 2012

    This year’s MYEFO shows the government gravy train is chugging along quite nicely. Read More

  • Self-sustaining leviathan

    19 Oct 2012

    The welfare state has gone far beyond a ‘safety net’ concept. Read More

  • Too scared

    19 Oct 2012

    Big state bureaucracies find it difficult coping with individual initiative or making room for common sense. Read More

  • The fall in Australian poverty

    19 Oct 2012

    Getting people into the workforce rather than handing more money to welfare recipients would be a better means of addressing the causes of poverty. Read More

  • The right to drink

    12 Oct 2012

    Not everyone behaves responsibly when consuming alcohol, and some restrictions on alcohol are arguably necessary for a civil society to exist. Read More

  • Abusing the logic of human rights

    12 Oct 2012

    Parents of school-aged children who will be moved from Parenting Payment to Newstart Allowance are not victims of human rights abuse. Read More

  • The dangerous idea of abolishing private schools

    12 Oct 2012

    Abolishing private schools is a dangerous idea. Read More

  • After the riot: A civil discussion of multiculturalism

    05 Oct 2012

    What does the recent riot mean for Australia’s status as a peaceful and harmonious multicultural society? Read More

  • A multicultural success story

    28 Sep 2012

    Australia’s culturally diverse society remains open and healthy. Read More

  • Protectionism is socialism

    28 Sep 2012

    Australia has had a long history of protectionism but the onus to support Australian production should lie with the consumers of those goods. Read More

  • Restricting freedom is not the answer

    21 Sep 2012

    The majority of Australian Muslims want to live here in peace but a sizeable minority has a darker purpose. Read More

  • The self perpetuating welfare state

    21 Sep 2012

    The welfare state perpetuates its own existence by growing ever larger and spending increasing amounts of other people’s money. Read More

  • First things first ... Priorities in Indigenous education

    21 Sep 2012

    Doubling the proportion of Indigenous students at universities would add to the plethora of pointless programs aimed at closing the ‘gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Read More

  • Literacy gaps exist and socio-economic status

    14 Sep 2012

    It is well known that literacy gaps exist between students of differing socio-economic status when they begin school. Read More

  • Importing Australia’s Asia literacy

    07 Sep 2012

    Extra spending to improve Asia literacy is unnecessary because Australia is already well-positioned to prosper as power moves to Asia. Read More

  • Productivity Commission misleads on Indigenous expenditure

    07 Sep 2012

    The Productivity Commission’s second Indigenous Expenditure Report, released earlier this week, shows that Commonwealth, state and territory taxpayer spending on Indigenous Australians has risen by 16%... Read More

  • Government responsible for poor Indigenous outcomes, not culture

    31 Aug 2012

    Aboriginal people, like all other Australians, should have the opportunity to become private home and business owners on their own land if they choose. Read More

  • The NDIS will cost $22 billion a year, says new report

    24 Aug 2012

    Given the sheer size and scope of the NDIS, taxpayers deserve to have accurate information about the overall cost of the NDIS because they will be footing the bill. Read More

  • A fair welfare system

    24 Aug 2012

    People must be helped, but the way we do it must be fair. Read More

  • Population pessimism is unfounded – and irresponsible

    24 Aug 2012

    The challenge for Australia is not to stop population growth but to find practical solutions to accommodate it. Read More

  • No need for universal dole increase

    16 Aug 2012

    A targeted financial supplement for Newstart aimed at the long-term unemployed who are looking for work would be cheaper and more appropriate than a broad increase in the base rate of Newstart for everyone. Read More

  • Unempirical Asian languages alarmism

    16 Aug 2012

    Asian languages alarmism should not scare us into expanding current language education programs. Read More

  • For the love of gold, let’s find a better way to fund sport

    16 Aug 2012

    Rather than lining up more athletes to suckle on the government teat, we should explore innovative new funding models for sport. Read More

  • Indigenous benefits need disadvantage test

    09 Aug 2012

    Identity alone can no longer be the basis for awarding Indigenous benefits. Read More

  • Putting children’s needs before issues of racism

    09 Aug 2012

    The voices of women and children suffering in remote Indigenous communities are often silenced by the more powerful men in their communities – and human rights groups. Read More

  • The NDIS – more cuts, less taxes

    02 Aug 2012

    What have we been paying tax for if not for the sorts of services and supports that the NDIS is supposed to provide? Read More

  • Britain's Olympic fever

    02 Aug 2012

    The idealised image of the United Kingdom presented by Danny Boyle at the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games also came with a few discordant notes. Read More

  • Preferential condemnation

    02 Aug 2012

    The international community fails to condemn Hamas for evicting 120 Palestinian families in Gaza from their homes. Read More

  • The nanny state is responsible for all business success

    27 Jul 2012

    Success in business is primarily about ideas and risks. Read More

  • When to move town

    20 Jul 2012

    Should small remote Indigenous towns be allowed to naturally decline or do we do something about it? Read More

  • Thought crime

    20 Jul 2012

    Britain’s race relations laws attempt to control, not just what we do, but the way we think. Read More

  • Reform NSW health

    13 Jul 2012

    The NSW Government must embrace privatisation in the NSW public hospital system. Read More

  • Home, sweet home

    13 Jul 2012

    After generations of decrepit public housing, Baniyala families will finally have the option of building and living in new houses built to capital city standards. Read More

  • Invoking Jesus

    13 Jul 2012

    No policy can be run through any single religious filter in a bid to infuse with it the characteristic of being a specifically Christian policy. Read More

  • ‘Helth’ under Whitlam

    13 Jul 2012

    Changes to what we can and cannot say, and how we say it, should not be imposed from up on high by the self appointed guardians of the public interest.  Read More

  • Is preventing ‘another stolen generation’ racist?

    06 Jul 2012

    Aboriginal children are placed in inappropriate and dangerous situations because the suitability of kinship carers is overlooked in the rush not to repeat past racist errors. Read More

  • Shaking the 2012–13 money tree

    06 Jul 2012

    The hot topics of carbon tax and immigration have pushed social policy reforms under the radar in recent months. Read More

  • Indigenous education – a poor performer

    29 Jun 2012

    Government needs to respond to poor NAPLAN results for Indigenous students by bringing non-performing and under-performing schools up to speed within the decade. Read More

  • Freedom to play

    29 Jun 2012

    Australia is fostering a risk-averse culture where people are reluctant to put themselves or their children ‘at risk’. Read More

  • Free to be fat

    15 Jun 2012

    The obese should pay for their obesity – through market rates, not government taxes, so that the healthy are not punished when they want to try a bacon sundae. Read More

  • Mabo and the concept of ownership

    08 Jun 2012

    The 20th anniversary of the Mabo decision is a timely opportunity to review the perception that the only way Aboriginal people can own land is communally. Read More

  • Bad or sad is not mad

    08 Jun 2012

    The mental illness card is again being played to curry sympathy and deflect scrutiny from public figures whose behaviour attracts unwanted attention. Read More

  • Gay marriage, polygamy and the social order

    01 Jun 2012

    There are no good, logical arguments against allowing gay marriage. Read More

  • Address the demand for alcohol, not the supply

    25 May 2012

    For long-term changes, governments should be tackling the reasons why people are drinking rather than simply controlling the consumption of alcohol. Read More

  • DSP reform under Labor hits the brakes

    25 May 2012

    The Rudd-Gillard Labor government is famous for its policy failures, but one of the few bright spots on its report card has been its reforms to the Disability Support Pension. Read More

  • Scrap the National Children’s Commissioner for children’s sake

    25 May 2012

    Appointing a National Children’s Commissioner will only add to the bureaucratic maze and do no good to children. Read More

  • ‘F’ for flawed literacy report

    18 May 2012

    Advisory group’s report on early reading instruction fails to deliver. Read More

  • Government furphy on Indigenous homeownership

    11 May 2012

    It is disingenuous to ask Aboriginal people to build houses on Indigenous land without letting them access money from the new Indigenous homeownership program or giving them security of tenure. Read More

  • No more dreaming of CDEP

    04 May 2012

    Despite its good intentions, CDEP ended up hindering rather than helping Indigenous people. Read More

  • Care, but responsibly

    04 May 2012

    Welfare programs in Australia, Britain, and the United States have belatedly begun to be reformed to try to prevent claimants ripping them off. Read More

  • An immaterial benefit: Learning from Europe’s mistakes

    27 Apr 2012

    The European public debt crisis is a wake-up call to those who believe in running a country on ever more feel-good programs, welfare initiatives, and industry assistance. Read More

  • Politics muddies euro economics

    27 Apr 2012

    Even before the crisis hit, Eurozone countries to a greater or lesser extent showed scant regard for the virtues of fiscal discipline. Read More

  • Culturally deaf to causes of child abuse

    20 Apr 2012

    Single-mother households are over-represented in cases of child abuse and neglect. Read More

  • I never said Aboriginal health workers are charlatans

    13 Apr 2012

    Criticism of the Aboriginal health industry and RTOs is not the same as attacking AHWs personally. Read More

  • Tiger mothers and the social escalator

    13 Apr 2012

    Academic achievement relies more on the values and aspirations of fellow students, parents and teachers – not so much on the money spent on schooling. Read More

  • From tragedy to farce

    05 Apr 2012

    Health policy needs to combine genuine local management with real financial accountability. Read More

  • Separate training system fails Aboriginal people

    23 Mar 2012

    Aboriginal Health Workers are being short changed when it comes to training and position description. Read More

  • The Road to Broadcasting House

    16 Mar 2012

    Social mobility in England is not a big problem. Read More

  • Separate schools not the answer

    09 Mar 2012

    Separate doesn’t mean better and throwing money at a problem isn’t an effective way to solve the education gap between Aboriginal and non Aboriginal students. Read More

  • Crowding of the welfare state is detrimental to everyone

    02 Mar 2012

    Prime Minister Gillard’s victory speech after defeating Kevin Rudd for the leadership of the Labor Party on Monday raised some important issues for those interested in public administration. Read More

  • Amnesty on truth

    10 Feb 2012

    Amnesty International complains a lot without offering any real solutions. Read More

  • Hardly fair to vulnerable children

    03 Feb 2012

    Restore citizen-control over the child protection services or watch it fail. Read More

  • The great Medicare swindle

    20 Jan 2012

    Basic market disciplines are needed to control the cost of Medicare and prevent over-servicing. Read More

  • Nudge, nudge, here come the Germans

    20 Jan 2012

    Germans can teach us a lot when it comes to family and social policy. Read More

  • Disability pension needs tough love

    16 Dec 2011

    With the number of people on the Disability Support Pension continuing to grow, government needs to introduce stringent reforms to stem the problem. Read More

  • Paternalist not punitive management of underclass

    09 Dec 2011

    Government should intervene in highly dysfunctional families to ensure children are given every opportunity to fulfil the full human potential. Read More

  • Lazy not a disorder

    02 Dec 2011

    Kids who are allowed to play video games all day shouldn’t be labelled with a disorder – their parents should be labelled as lazy. Read More

  • Overcoming a culture of low expectations

    11 Nov 2011

    Given the right help, many people with very serious disabilities can work. Read More

  • Myths, lies and adoption

    04 Nov 2011

    The family preservation policies of child protection agencies are responsible for our lagging adoption performance, not the so-called unwillingness of Australians to give needy children good homes. Read More

  • Individualism does not mean being self-centred

    04 Nov 2011

    Individualism is not about being self-centred but about recognising that you are responsible for your own actions and how your life turns out. Read More

  • Focus on the children

    28 Oct 2011

    School funding should centre on the child, not on the school and should come from both government and non-government sources. Read More

  • Ditch the national curriculum

    21 Oct 2011

    A national curriculum is not the answer to improved education results. Read More

  • Thirst for knowledge

    21 Oct 2011

    The choice of subjects of the record number of students sitting this year’s HSC reflects increasing interest in ancient history and religion. Read More

  • Fees disorientation

    14 Oct 2011

    Students will be made to a pay a compulsory union fee to fund activities they may or may not use. Read More

  • 1 for the nanny state, 0 for commonsense

    14 Oct 2011

    Welfare has gone mad in Britain – child misbehaves, parent gets a car. Child’s team loses football game by 20 points – they will never know. Read More

  • The holy grail of welfare reform

    07 Oct 2011

    We must reduce the number of people on the Disability Pension Scheme by helping them to find work. Read More

  • For richer, for poorer

    07 Oct 2011

    The right needs to address the growing popular resentment about banks, big corporations, and rich individuals avoiding tax, receiving hand-outs, and deserting people at home by relocating overseas. Read More

  • Sigh, another review

    07 Oct 2011

    Another government review into Aboriginal welfare but will it result in any policy changes? Read More

  • Bolt tongue tied

    30 Sep 2011

    The Federal Court’s verdict in the Andrew Bolt case for racial discriminatory comments regarding Aboriginal people is an attack on freedom of speech. Read More

  • A growing opportunity for Australia

    30 Sep 2011

    Instead of being afraid of population growth, Australians should embrace it, and government must focus on build infrastructure to support the growth. Read More

  • Boat people circa 1871

    23 Sep 2011

    Australia should auction its immigration spots to the highest and most capable bidders to improve our standard of living over the long term. Read More

  • Dying before their time

    23 Sep 2011

    Sara Hudson writes about the deplorable condition and despair in Aboriginal communities she saw on her recent trip to Central Australia. Read More

  • Invest in a creative type

    16 Sep 2011

    Community-based ideas like Pozible can help make arts more dynamic, robust and financially independent. Read More

  • Buying spirit level bubbles

    09 Sep 2011

    In his new book When Prophecy Fails (released by the CIS), Peter Saunders writes a further rebuttal to Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s book, The Spirit Level. Read More

  • Plus ça change: O’Farrell government and NSW Health

    09 Sep 2011

    The NSW government’s focus on management issues in health care ignores more complex, deep-set, and politically sensitive problems. Read More

  • Report card for schools

    09 Sep 2011

    In a paradigm shift, four reports on education reform commissioned by the federal government agree on decentralisation, school choice, non-government schools, and private investment. Read More

  • Ingredients for successful integration

    02 Sep 2011

    Australia’s migrants are some of the best integrated because the immigration policy is strict. Continuing this considered selection through a careful screening process for migrants is vital. Read More

  • Missing the point with silly questions

    26 Aug 2011

    To properly evaluate income management we need to look beyond people’s perspectives of it and explore whether or not it is meeting its objectives. Read More

  • Connect cyber with reality

    19 Aug 2011

    Suggestion of social media restrictions in the UK in times of turmoil. Read More

  • Stick it to ‘em

    12 Aug 2011

    Society’s lack of a moral compass led to the London riots. Read More

  • A win for Big Bureaucracy

    15 Jul 2011

    The bewildering array of new programs accompanying the carbon tax betrays a win for Big Bureaucracy and a blithe disregard for public money. Read More

  • NSW health problems 100 years in the making

    08 Jul 2011

    Governments lack political will to impose the tough structural hospital reforms needed for this century. Read More

  • A day of transformation

    08 Jul 2011

    NAIDOC week is good time for all Australians to celebrate Indigenous culture. Read More

  • Dump deal showcases Aboriginal property issues

    17 Jun 2011

    Controversial nuclear facility on Aboriginal land highlights the inadequacy of Indigenous land rights. Read More

  • Populist streak waters down NZ alcohol policy

    27 May 2011

    New Zealand’s liberal liquor regime is under threat from ineffective policies based on dodgy data. Read More

  • Indigenous private property rights ignored again

    27 May 2011

    Government ignores Indigenous private property rights and creates more bureaucracy. Read More

  • Canberra kickers kick own goals

    13 May 2011

    Coalition state governments have no excuse for stymieing the publication of transparent information about public hospital performance. Read More

  • Polarisation in Indigenous Affairs

    06 May 2011

    Increasing polarization emerges in the aftermath of Larissa Behrendt’s tweet on Bess Price’s support of the NTI. Read More

  • A ‘Royal Wedding’ the Victorians might approve of?

    29 Apr 2011

    The ‘Royal Wedding’ is the last chance at shoring up the shaky foundations of the British monarchy. Read More

  • Preparing for NAPLAN

    29 Apr 2011

    Performing well in NAPLAN numeracy requires competency in reading and comprehending written language. Read More

  • Tough on welfare but light on detail

    21 Apr 2011

    Gillard’s pronouncements on welfare reform have so far been largely rhetorical. Read More

  • Census apartheid

    15 Apr 2011

    With preparations well in hand for the 2011 Census in August, we are assuming that the separate Census Interviewer Household Form, which has been administered to Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders... Read More

  • Double standards to blame for alcohol problem

    08 Apr 2011

    Many of the alcohol restrictions now in places across the Far North may not have been necessary if existing liquor legislation had been enforced properly. Read More

  • Wading in with new ideas for water

    01 Apr 2011

    By broadening our thinking beyond dams, and embracing a multi-faceted approach to water provision, we can support the water needs of a growing Australia. Read More

  • Straddling black fella and white fella laws

    25 Mar 2011

    Bess Nungarrayi Price, an activist against violence and chairwoman of the Northern Territory’s Indigenous Affairs Advisory Council, gave a moving talk at CIS this week about the problems faced by Central... Read More

  • WikiSchool

    25 Mar 2011

    My School, like Wikileaks, is founded on the principle that although information might be abused, this is not sufficient reason to withhold it from the public. Unfortunately, My School has not enjoyed... Read More

  • Our Medicare vice

    18 Mar 2011

    Problems in hospitals stem from the problems with Medicare, which stem from the faulty principles behind the ‘reverse insurance’ Medicare scheme. Read More

  • Money well spent?

    11 Mar 2011

    A new report confirms that Indigenous disadvantage is not the result of insufficient government expenditure. Read More

  • Absence of controls on alcohol and too much welfare a deadly combination

    04 Mar 2011

    The difference between Sydney and Alice Springs are the different standards applied to alcohol consumption. Read More

  • Disintegration of Sydney: A legitimate topic for 'M&M' debate

    25 Feb 2011

    Community concerns about Multiculturalism and Muslims are based on the dis-integration of parts of Sydney from the mainstream and the conspicuous failure to repeat the successful patterns of integration... Read More

  • DSP the wrong target for budget savings

    Jessica Brown | 18 Feb 2011

    Welfare reform, especially of Disability Support Pension, must continue to be a policy priority but is unlikely to help us find a spare billion dollars in this year's budget. Read More

  • Short cut to public hospital efficiency

    Jeremy Sammut | 11 Feb 2011

    If federal funding for hospital is only delivered at a national efficient price state governments will either have to cut the waste and reform their bureaucratic hospital systems, or bear the extra cost... Read More

  • Australia’s familiar past

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 04 Feb 2011

    Australia has obviously changed over the past 140 years, but perhaps not quite as much as we think. Read More

  • HELPing themselves to a free education

    Andrew Norton | 21 Jan 2011

    Perpetual students living off the taxpayer is a great tabloid story. But the real HELP story is a perhaps one for the Australian Financial Review rather than the Herald Sun. Read More

  • Civil society did not drown in the floods

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 21 Jan 2011

    The response to the floods probably said more about this country than all of next week's Australia Day celebrations taken together. Read More

  • Sympathy for the Devil?

    Peter Saunders | 21 Jan 2011

    Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards recently published his autobiography. It has topped best-seller lists across the world and has attracted acclaim from the most unlikely sources. Writing in Britain's... Read More

  • Women's work, or just another day in the office?

    Jessica Brown | 14 Jan 2011

    Women now have more choices than men, having the opportunity to either work or parent, or some combination of both, says a new report. Read More

  • Rioting UK students are misguided

    Peter Saunders | 17 Dec 2010

    UK students should direct their ire towards pampered lecturers and demand longer terms rather than rioting against the government. Read More

  • Banging on about homeownership is starting to have an effect but will bureaucrats bungle it?

    Sara Hudson | 10 Dec 2010

    Thankfully governments are slowly waking up to the importance of private homeownership on Indigenous lands. Read More

  • Rebuilding social norms

    Sara Hudson | 03 Dec 2010

    The building of social norms is the impetus behind the Cape York Welfare Reform project being trialed in four Cape York communities. Read More

  • The discussion we have to have

    Jeremy Sammut | 26 Nov 2010

    If health reform is to amount to more than money shifting and rearranging the administrative deckchairs we need to address the root of the problem - Medicare itself. Read More

  • Private property will save a culture, not destroy it

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 19 Nov 2010

    One of the main causes of Indigenous dysfunction in remote communities is the denial of private property rights. Read More

  • Welfare double dipping

    Andrew Norton | 19 Nov 2010

    Should welfare recipients be able to claim the expenses of making themselves eligible for welfare? Read More

  • The class myth

    Peter Saunders | 05 Nov 2010

    The British will tell you that success depends on one's class and very little to do with education even though the evidence shows the opposite is true. Read More

  • Separate is never equal

    Sara Hudson | 05 Nov 2010

    There is not a black way of educating a child or a white way of educating a child but the right way. Read More

  • Why Europe is the wrong model for paid parental leave

    Jessica Brown | 29 Oct 2010

    The cost of new entitlements and promises gradually add up until suddenly the bill is simply too big to manage. Read More

  • Quo Vadis? Australia’s hospital system

    Jeremy Sammut | 22 Oct 2010

    Genuine reform of the public hospital system requires genuinely responsible federalism and genuine local autonomy and accountability. Read More

  • A dangerous coupling

    Sara Hudson | 22 Oct 2010

    Although the NT government's report 'Growing them Strong, Together' notes the impact of alcohol on Indigenous children and families, it makes no recommendations concerning the supply of alcohol. Read More

  • Overcoming a culture of low expectations

    Sara Hudson | 08 Oct 2010

    The different standards between remote Indigenous schools and mainstream schools, and the culture of low expectations, are a travesty of justice. Read More

  • Religion and education

    Jennifer Buckingham | 17 Sep 2010

    Religious schools have been a major feature of the educational landscape in Australia since British settlement. The first schools in colonial New South Wales were Anglican schools. Despite fluctuating... Read More

  • No logic for liberals in Malthus

    Jessica Brown | 17 Sep 2010

    Thomas Malthus, the eighteenth century British thinker who predicted that over-population would lead to global famine, has lately had something of a resurgence. With everyone from Bob Brown to Bob Carr... Read More

  • Community initiatives more effective

    Sara Hudson | 17 Sep 2010

    A while ago, in an attempt to install some order into my chaotic household, I followed some advice I had read in a parenting book. I asked my children what they thought would be suitable punishments for... Read More

  • Liberalism and child protection

    Jeremy Sammut | 10 Sep 2010

    Child protection reform that upholds the independent rights of children needs to be on the policy agenda of liberals because liberals live in a world that, in many respects, liberals did not make. Read More

  • Education key to living in two worlds

    Sara Hudson | 30 Jul 2010

    In his speech at the opening dinner of the Centre’s annual Consilium conference last week, Noel Pearson raised the point that Jews and the Roman Catholics have found ways to reconcile communalist loyalties... Read More

  • One rule for all: free speech and integration

    Jeremy Sammut | 30 Jul 2010

    At the Centre’s ‘Freedom of Speech’ forum on Thursday, July 29, writer-activist Ayan Hirsi Ali and The Australian’s Janet Albretchsen discussed the factors that restrict freedom of speech on a... Read More

  • Unhealthy economics of death

    Paul Cunningham | 23 Jul 2010

    The ability to employ high-tech medicine to preserve life has outrun society’s current capacity to decide who should use it and for how long. A wider public debate is needed about death, dying and the... Read More

  • A world away - Halls Creek, a remote town in WA

    Sara Hudson | 16 Jul 2010

    Inspired by the alcohol restrictions in the nearby town of Fitzroy Crossing, two local women lobbied to have the same rules introduced in Halls Creek. Read More

  • Overcoming poverty of ambition

    Jessica Brown | 16 Jul 2010

    Study shows that children of the poorest parents – both in terms of income and education – can go on to become tomorrow’s doctors and lawyers. Read More

  • Potheads and Headspace

    Jeremy Sammut | 09 Jul 2010

    The second wave of ‘community-based’ mental health reform within 30 years has broader policy significance. Read More

  • Income Management for all a courageous step forwards

    Sara Hudson | 25 Jun 2010

    Federal parliament this week passed laws that will subject non-Indigenous welfare recipients in the Northern Territory to income management for the first time. Read More

  • The Not So Super Guarantee

    Stephen Kirchner | 11 Jun 2010

    Amid the debate over the proposed Resource Super Profits Tax (RSPT), relatively little attention has been paid to the government’s proposed increase in the superannuation guarantee (SG), which is to... Read More

  • Bipartisan agreement to defeat dependency

    Jessica Brown | 30 Apr 2010

    True bipartisan agreement is rare. But it seems we have just that over the issue of Disability Support Pension (DSP). Both Labor and the Coalition tightened eligibility criteria for DSP. Both argue not... Read More

  • Money doesn’t grow on trees

    Sara Hudson | 19 Mar 2010

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s decision to support Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin’s income management bill signals a much-needed change in attitudes to welfare in Australia. Read More

  • Right concerns, wrong policy

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 12 Mar 2010

    When opposition leader Tony Abbott presented his parental leave scheme to a surprised public and bewildered parliamentary colleagues, the criticism could not have been more scathing. Shaun Carney at The... Read More

  • Indigenous Australians denied employment by inept policies

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 05 Mar 2010

    Indigenous unemployment is three times non-Indigenous unemployment, and Indigenous non-participation in the labour force is even higher. Read More

  • Groundhog Day for new housing

    Sara Hudson | 26 Feb 2010

    Despite extensive consultation with communities in the Northern Territory about what type of new houses they would like as part of the government’s Indigenous housing program, government is still following... Read More

  • Irrational Medicare system delivers inverse health care

    Jeremy Sammut | 19 Feb 2010

    This week, two health stories from different states point to some fundamental problems with Medicare. Read More

  • Indigenous people need less not more discrimination

    Jeremy Sammut | 12 Feb 2010

    The shocking state of child protection services in the Northern Territory has been revealed by a leaked 2007 report by Dr Howard Bath which details numerous cases of Indigenous children failed by the system. ... Read More

  • Fat kids, junk food and emotion

    Luke Malpass | 05 Feb 2010

    Every time you open a newspaper or watch the news, you find yourself being bombarded with the news that junk food creates fat kids, and for the crime of unleashing a childhood obesity epidemic on innocent... Read More

  • Report card on Indigenous disadvantage

    Sara Hudson | 29 Jan 2010

    Last year, the Prime Minister failed to keep his election promise to deliver a report card on the government’s progress on Indigenous affairs on the first sitting day of Parliament. In case this happens... Read More

  • British bureaucracy and the baby

    Meegan Cornforth | 29 Jan 2010

    Why do British politicians think that their National Health System is so wonderful? Read More

  • End exploitative practices in the outback

    Sara Hudson | 22 Jan 2010

    The Australian recently reported Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin’s scathing response to the loan shark who plagues outback communities by charging up to 50% interest on loans and taking bank... Read More

  • Don’t drop in ... or jump off

    Jessica Brown | 15 Jan 2010

    It’s not only road cops and highway sign-writers who have been busy over Christmas. Despite the lure of the banana lounge and the soporific sounds of the Channel Nine commentary team, it’s been hard... Read More

  • Latest Indigenous health scheme shows policymakers are still in ‘la la land’

    Sara Hudson | 18 Dec 2009

    Chronic diseases, in particular cardiovascular disease, are the biggest single killers of Indigenous people. But the government’s plan to tackle chronic diseases amongst the Aboriginal population owes... Read More

  • Charter schools gain traction in 2009

    Jennifer Buckingham | 11 Dec 2009

    This has been the year of the charter school (public schools run by private operators) in education policy in the United States. Federal education secretary Arne Duncan made charter schools one of the... Read More

  • Indigenous health suffers from lack of accountability

    Sara Hudson | 04 Dec 2009

    Given the abysmal health of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders living in Indigenous communities, no one disputes the need for improving health services. Read More

  • Only the market can make health system person-centred

    Jeremy Sammut | 27 Nov 2009

    According to the NHHRC, the most important health reform recommendations in the Bennett Report will make the health system person-centred by reorienting the system around stronger primary care. This will... Read More

  • Macklin shows her steel

    Jessica Brown | 27 Nov 2009

    The front pages of our newspapers have been plastered with the ETS and the internal ructions of the Liberal party all week, so you could be forgiven if you didn’t notice the Rudd Government’s announcement... Read More

  • Rudd’s non-solution to hospital crisis a wasteful threat to private practice

    Jeremy Sammut | 20 Nov 2009

    Under the $275 million Super Clinics program, the Rudd government is funding the start-up costs involved in bringing together general practitioners and allied health professionals, such as physiotherapists... Read More

  • That’s discrimination!

    Elise Parham | 20 Nov 2009

    Many a bemused journalistic eye has this week turned to the human rights commissions, who have been busily cracking down on discrimination in all its forms. Although commissioners have the power to grant... Read More

  • Aboriginal men need jobs, not more programs

    Sara Hudson | 13 Nov 2009

    A new Australian Medical Association (AMA) report says a lack of purpose in Aboriginal men’s lives has had a profound impact on their health and well-being—not to mention the lives of their women and... Read More

  • Through the glass ceiling back to the glass floor

    Jessica Brown | 13 Nov 2009

    There’s nothing like an old-fashioned battle between working mums and their stay-at-home sisters, especially when a glamorous and high profile mother like the editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman,... Read More

  • Prosperity Index suffers due to poor health

    Greg Lindsay | 30 Oct 2009

    The 2009 Legatum Prosperity Index rates Australia an impressive sixth out of 104 countries surveyed – the top five are all small Northern European countries with populations of less than 10 million. Read More

  • Welfare reforms show glimmer of hope

    Jessica Brown | 16 Oct 2009

    Over the past few decades, a bipartisan consensus has emerged about the need to reduce the number of working age Australians reliant on welfare. While the aging population means that large-scale welfare... Read More

  • Blinding trachoma still plagues Australian outback

    Sara Hudson | 09 Oct 2009

    Australia has the unenviable distinction of being the only developed country in the world to still have trachoma. Read More

  • Overcoming socio-economic disadvantage in education

    Jennifer Buckingham | 02 Oct 2009

    Literacy and numeracy are not everything, but they are almost everything. Somewhere between one in five and one in six students are barely literate and numerate, according to recent national literacy and... Read More

  • Long-term welfare detrimental to kids, says new report

    Jessica Brown | 02 Oct 2009

    Welfare campaigners this week lobbied the government to lift unemployment benefits, after the OECD revealed that more than half the jobless households in Australia are ‘poor’: with incomes less than... Read More

  • Child Care Reforms Fail Flexibility Test

    Jessica Brown | 04 Sep 2009

    By boosting child-to-staff ratios and lifting the qualifications of staff, a federal government proposal to change child care regulations aims to provide a higher level of care and an educationally-focused... Read More

  • A tale of two houses

    Sara Hudson | 04 Sep 2009

    Once upon a time in a community called Baniyala, the houses were old, there weren’t enough houses, and there was no house for the school teacher. However, the community didn’t have very much money... Read More

  • WA schools are independent in name only

    Jennifer Buckingham | 28 Aug 2009

    The WA government recently announced that it would be allowing up to 30 government schools (out of 768) to become ‘Independent Public Schools.’ These schools will have full management of their recurrent... Read More

  • More spending on prevention is no solution for hospital crisis

    Jeremy Sammut | 31 Jul 2009

    Public health experts have long claimed the problems in Australia’s public hospital system are due to government policy focusing too much on hospitals rather than on preventive and health promotion strategies.... Read More

  • The enduring gender gap in education

    Jennifer Buckingham | 24 Jul 2009

    In 2000, the Howard government initiated a parliamentary inquiry into the education of boys in response to widespread concerns that boys were seriously underachieving academically. In 2002, the committee... Read More

  • In a league of their own: the case against league tables and legislative bans

    Jennifer Buckingham | 10 Jul 2009

    In a surprising and badly judged move, the NSW Coalition has supported a legislative ban on the publication of school league tables. Read More

  • The road to Hawks Nest started back in the Seventies

    Jeremy Sammut | 03 Jul 2009

    The establishment of government-run child protection authorities staffed by university-trained social workers in the 1970s led to a series of changes in child protection policy and practice. Read More

  • Are pensioners really impoverished?

    Jessica Brown | 03 Jul 2009

    The OECD this week released a report that claimed that one in four Australian pensioners live in poverty. According to the report, pensioners in Australia face the fourth highest rate of poverty in the... Read More

  • Education and politics: Like oil and water

    Jennifer Buckingham | 19 Jun 2009

    If ever there was evidence that politics and education don’t mix, the fiasco of the Building the Education Revolution program is it. How did this policy, which should have been a political slam-dunk,... Read More

  • Picking on soft targets

    Sara Hudson | 12 Jun 2009

    The case of the Northern Territory teenager known as Kunmanara is yet another example of the failure of government to protect children from abuse Read More

  • More Government Means Less Healthcare

    Jeremy Sammut | 05 Jun 2009

    This week the headlines announced that Australia’s ‘free’ health system was in danger of being replaced with a ‘US-style’ user pay system because out of control growth in the cost of the NSW... Read More

  • Indigenous university students are quietly making the grade

    | 22 May 2009

    Contrary to popular myths, Indigenous students in mainstream society, representing the majority of Indigenous children and youngsters, are doing well at school, staying to Year 12, and doing professional... Read More

  • What this week’s NAPLAN tests mean for Indigenous Education

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 08 May 2009

    This week all Australian children in school years 3, 5, 7 and  9 sat numeracy and literacy tests for the second time. Read More

  • No evidence-base state is effective health nanny

    Jeremy Sammut | 01 May 2009

    A golden thread runs through modern civilisation – a hypothesis remains a hypothesis unless the evidence proves it is science. Read More

  • More ABC for kids?

    Jennifer Buckingham | 24 Apr 2009

    Last year, I attended the Australia 2020 Summit. A lot of ideas were discussed over that cool April weekend in Canberra Read More

  • Paid Maternity Leave and the Global Financial Crisis

    Jessica Brown | 10 Apr 2009

    Paid maternity leave was a high profile election promise of the Rudd government, but with an impending recession, the big question now is ‘can we can afford it?’ Read More

  • Welfare of unborn children versus women’s right to drink

    Sara Hudson | 03 Apr 2009

    The struggle for liberals is to strike the right balance between individual liberty and protecting the rights of others. Read More

  • Defending civil society and Prescribed Private Funds

    John Humphreys | 20 Feb 2009

    New regulations that will limit the flexibility of charitable funds and decrease the quality and quantity of philanthropy are bad policy at any time, but given the current economic situation, it is specially... Read More

  • There is a Jekyll and Hyde quality to the Bennett Report released by the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission this week

    Jeremy Sammut | 20 Feb 2009

    The problem with the Bennett report is that the left hand wants to plan the future of Australian health care from the top-down and give people the services the government thinks they should have, while... Read More

  • Publications

    1. The Kinship Conundrum: The Impact of Aboriginal Self-Determination on Indigenous Child Protection

      Jeremy Sammut | 08 Dec 2014 | Policy Monographs

      This report argues that mainstreaming revolution in Indigenous policy should be extended to Indigenous child protection policy,... Read More...

    2. An Ounce of Prevention? A Toolkit for Evaluating Preventive Health Measures

      Helen Andrews | 26 Nov 2014 | Policy Monographs

      How can a policymaker predict whether a preventive health program will save money over the long term? These eight questions... Read More...

    3. Regulating for Quality in Childcare: The Evidence Base

      Trisha Jha | 05 Nov 2014 | Policy Monographs

      The report explores the evidence base for the recent National Quality Agenda reforms to childcare that mandate lower staff-to-child... Read More...

    4. Helen Hughes: A Tribute

      Glenys Byrne, Greg Lindsay, Noel Pearson, Ron Duncan, Tony Abbott | 27 Aug 2014 | Policy Forum

      CIS Senior Fellow Professor Helen Hughes AO passed away on 15 June 2013 after a lifetime dedicated to working passionately... Read More...

    5. Complex Family Payments: What it Costs the Village to Raise a Child

      Trisha Jha | 06 Aug 2014 | Policy Monographs

      The report describes the family payments system (with a focus on family tax benefits and child care fee assistance) and analyses... Read More...

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    Opinion & Commentary

    1. There is no more money for childcare

      Trisha Jha | 17 Dec 2014 | SBS

      When the government announced last year that the Productivity Commission childcare inquiry would be expected to deliver new ... Read More

    2. Bill Shorten is opposing his own party's health policy

      Jeremy Sammut | 16 Dec 2014 | Daily Telegraph

      According to Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, the revised GP co-payment represents the death of Medicare. Yet what the Abbott ... Read More

    3. No ‘War on Christmas’ Here

      Helen Andrews | 15 Dec 2014 | Canberra Times

       To my great delight as an immigrant, there is no ‘War on Christmas’ in Australia.... Read More

    4. We risk an Indigenous lost generation

      Jeremy Sammut | 08 Dec 2014 | The Australian

      Placing Indigenous children in accordance with the ACPP threatens to compromise child wellbeing and keep open the gaps in ... Read More

    5. Government preventive health measures don’t add up

      Helen Andrews | 26 Nov 2014 | The Australian

      Preventive has become the hottest word in healthcare. From politicians in parliament to talking heads on television, everyone ... Read More

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    Ideas@TheCentre

    1. Your Bumper, Blockbuster, Holiday-Issue Ideas@TheCentre

      | 19 Dec 2014

      With CIS taking a break over the holiday season, we wanted to bring you a special issue of Ideas to finish the ...

    2. Kinship placements risk creating a Lost Generation

      Jeremy Sammut | 12 Dec 2014

      To talk of adoption in relation to Indigenous children is to invite the politically explosive claim that this would create ...

    3. Trans-Tasman harmonisation... a bridge too far

      David Gadiel | 12 Dec 2014

      Abandonment of ANZTIPA seems hard to reconcile with the Australian Government’s declared agenda for deregulation and competitiveness ...

    4. What to give a child who can't read?

      Jennifer Buckingham | 05 Dec 2014

      Many of the programs dreamt up by the two major political parties would be difficult to justify for inclusion in a school ...

    5. Lambie off to bad start with meaningless ANPHA stand

      Helen Andrews | 28 Nov 2014

      On her first full day as an independent, Jacquie Lambie joined three other crossbench senators in pointlessly thwarting the ...

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