The CIS examines the roles and responsibilities of commonwealth, state and local governments, the fiscal aspects of federalism and the benefits a federal structure brings to Australia.


  1. The Case for a New Australian Settlement: Ruminations of an Inveterate Economist

    Wolfgang Kasper | 25 Jun 2015 | Occasional Papers

    To enjoy prosperity into the future, Australia needs to establish an reform strategy that goes beyond economic policy and... Read More...

  2. Public Money: Federal-State Financial Relations and the Constitutional Limits on Spending Public Money

    Anne Twomey, Robert Carling | 29 Oct 2014 | Occasional Papers

    This paper surveys and explains the history of how the Australian Constitution was intended to deal with federal-state financial... Read More...

  3. Sovereignty, Blame Games and Tony Abbott’s New Federalism

    Anne Twomey, Jeremy Sammut, Nick Greiner, Robert Carling | 28 Aug 2014 | Policy Forum

    This volume brings together the four presentations made to a Centre for Independent Studies public forum on reforming the... Read More...

  4. Submission to the National Commission of Audit

    Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Stephen Kirchner, Trisha Jha | 01 Apr 2014 | TARGET30 Papers

    The federal government’s Commission of Audit (CoA) was established in 2013 to review the performance and role of government.... Read More...

  5. TARGET30: Towards smaller government and future prosperity

    Peter Saunders, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan | 06 Mar 2013 | TARGET30 Papers

    TARGET30 is a campaign promoting smaller government, supported by a series of research reports providing policy solutions... Read More...

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Opinion & Commentary

  1. Federal comfort zones must be abandoned

    Robert Carling | 22 Jul 2015 | Canberra Times

    Much has been said about the contest between political expediency and visionary leadership in the recent conduct of public ... Read More

  2. Federal-state reform should not mean more tax

    Robert Carling | 20 Jan 2015 | Australian Financial Review

    The key point for both the tax review and the review of federalism is not to start from the premise that overall taxation ... Read More

  3. Blame game risks missing a chance to change

    Greg Lindsay | 26 Nov 2014 | Australian Financial Review

    It looks like Australia is finally having a long overdue debate about reform of the federation and, more importantly, reform ... Read More

  4. Comment: Education does not need Commonwealth in schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 03 Oct 2014 | Canberra Times, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age

    Ahead of the federal government’s ‘white paper’ on reform of the federation, an issues paper will canvas the specific ... Read More

  5. NSW health history shows Carr's feet of clay

    Jeremy Sammut | 29 Mar 2012 | The Drum

    If you believe the hype, Carr's entry into federal politics is a sign that the floundering incompetence which has typified ... Read More

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  1. The bright side of non-competitive IR federalism

    Alexander Philipatos | 24 Apr 2014

    Classical liberals favour competitive federalism over national laws because competition between jurisdictions makes it harder ...

  2. Time to make a deal

    Jennifer Buckingham | 19 Apr 2013

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

  3. Unempirical Asian languages alarmism

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 16 Aug 2012

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

  4. 'Of its essence a great mistake'

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 23 Mar 2012

    Canberra fails as a capital city....

  5. Pay for what is yours

    Peter Saunders | 02 Dec 2011

    Take responsibility for your actions – don’t make the rest of us pay....

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