Government and Politics

With a belief in smaller government, The Centre for Independent Studies advocates policies that would limit the size of government in Australia.

In our research, we strive for policies that would reduce regulation and promote a healthy civil society, free of the burdens of big government.

How much government do we really want in Australia? How much government do we really need?

As an independent think tank, the CIS is positioned to seriously analyse the reach of big government, while emphasising freedom, responsibility and enterprise.

Featured Publication

Publications

The Case for a New Australian Settlement: Ruminations of an Inveterate Economist
Wolfgang Kasper
26 June 2015 | OP141

Australia needs a cultural counter-revolution that appeals to the traditional Australian spirit of self-reliance and can-do optimism – a new ‘Australian settlement’ which goes beyond mere economic policy. It should be underpinned by agreed basic understandings across political and social divides: (i) ours is a…

Public Money: Federal-State Financial Relations and the Constitutional Limits on Spending Public Money
Anne Twomey, Robert Carling
29 October 2014 | OP138

It is uncontroversial that federal-state financial relations need reform, but it is necessary to understand how we got to the current position and what constitutional constraints and principles are relevant to future reforms. Those who wrote the Commonwealth Constitution understood that they were handing over…

Preserving Peace as China Rises II: Preparing for a Post-American Asian Order
Benjamin Herscovitch
01 September 2014 | FPA10

With US leadership unable to guarantee peace and security in the Indo-Pacific this century, the region will need to transition to a balance of power system divided between China, the United States, India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). To mitigate dangerously destabilising…

Sovereignty, Blame Games and Tony Abbott’s New Federalism
Anne Twomey, Jeremy Sammut, Nick Greiner, Robert Carling
28 August 2014 | PF27

In July 2014, the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) held a public forum on reform of the Australian federation, which continued the CIS’s involvement in issues related to Australian federalism over many years. It was held at this time in response to Prime Minister Abbott’s…

Submission to the National Commission of Audit
Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Stephen Kirchner, Trisha Jha
01 April 2014 | T30.08

The federal government’s Commission of Audit (CoA) was established in 2013 to review the performance and role of government. This publication is an edited version of the CIS submission to the CoA listing practical solutions aimed at cutting government expenditure. The government should adopt a…

Media & Commentary

Council’s decision sends odd messages
Michael Potter
31 August 2015 | Newcastle Herald

Newcastle Council intends to divest itself of interest in coal. Have we entered an alternate universe? You’d think so, on the news that the Newcastle Council is planning to withdraw…

Bigger not better
Robert Carling
28 August 2015

A recent advertisement in Sydney papers proclaims “It’s time to get councils working better for local communities”. So says the state government’s Office of Local Government. The ‘a’ word did…

Federal comfort zones must be abandoned
Robert Carling
22 July 2015 | Canberra Times

Much has been said about the contest between political expediency and visionary leadership in the recent conduct of public policy. Expediency is ahead, but leadership gets another chance to fight…

Culture quells racism
Jeremy Sammut
10 July 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

Dawn Fraser’s apology for her inappropriate ‘go back to where you came from’ comments about tennis player Nick Kyrios needs to be kept in perspective regarding the extent of racism in…

Contradictions rule in Greece
Simon Cowan
10 July 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

Part of the difficulty in understanding where the Greek crisis will head is that so many of the actions of the key players are contradictory. The Greek people have resoundingly…