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


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…

Australia’s Future in the Balance: Overcoming Antagonism & Reigniting Enterprise & Prosperity
Wolfgang Kasper, Paul Kelly
25 June 2015

Following economic reforms that began in 1983 and petered out around 2003, Australians enjoyed the greatest advance in their living standards since Federation. But the lagged effects of those reforms have now subsided and the post-2003 upsurge in our terms of trade is being reversed.…

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…

Media & Commentary

John Hirst: culture warrior shaped future through the past
Jeremy Sammut
09 February 2016 | The Australian

The historian John Hirst was a giant of Australian intellectual life. Hirst, who died aged 73 in Melbourne last Friday had a long and distinguished academic career, including writing three…

Taxi hailing apps should compete on level playing field
Michael Potter
16 October 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

The ACCC should focus on regulating monopolies and keep their nose out of regulating the details. The ihail app should be allowed, as long as taxi drivers aren’t prevented from…

What are we to do about Jeremy?
Peter Saunders
18 September 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

In Britain, the Tories think all their Christmases have come at once.  Labour Party activists have overwhelmingly chosen as their new leader a Marxist, Jeremy Corbyn, who has the support…

Alternative reality
Michael Potter
04 September 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

The Newcastle Council has officially entered an alternative reality. The city that was built on coal is now proposing to withdraw deposits from banks that fund coal. Never mind that…

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…