Government and Politics – The Centre for Independent Studies

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


Victims of failure – how the COVID-19 policy response let down Australians
Monica Wilkie
09 December 2020 | AP18

The government response to COVID-19 has imposed restrictions on Australians unseen in peacetime. As Australians approach nearly a year of living under varying coronavirus restrictions it is timely to analyse governments response to COVID-19. Victims of failure – how the COVID-19 policy response let down…

A House Divided: The AFRB and China's Subnational Diplomacy in Australia
Salvatore Babones
12 November 2020 | AP17

This paper examines China’s subnational diplomacy in Australia and the suitability of Australia’s Foreign Relations Bill (AFRB) as a tool for countering it. The AFRB is designed to help the Commonwealth keep tabs on international diplomacy involving Australian states, territories, local governments, and public universities.…

Australia, the United States and China in a post-Covid world
Richard Alston
14 September 2020 | OP175

After three decades of prosperity and relative peace, Australia suddenly confronts a trifecta of crises: a pandemic, a recession, and a radically changed strategic outlook. In these circumstances, Australia must adapt quickly, always putting its interests first and being prepared to lead when necessary. Notwithstanding…

The 12-Week Window: Coronavirus crisis Australia didn’t have to have
Salvatore Babones
02 June 2020 | AP9

The coronavirus crisis was ‘the crisis that Australia didn’t have to have’. This paper lays out a detailed weekly timeline of the crucial first twelve weeks of the crisis, which were Australia’s window of opportunity for fighting the virus at the border instead of in…

Australia's Export Exposure to China's Coronavirus Epidemic
Salvatore Babones
18 February 2020 | AP7

This paper estimates the direct and immediate effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the revenues of Australia’s major export industries. It breaks down Australia’s exports to China across 18 major industry groups, including both goods and services exports. China’s coronavirus epidemic is likely to cost…

Media & Commentary

Indigenous Voice in Parliament plan sounds by-the-numbers
Nyunggai Warren Mundine
20 December 2021 | Daily Telegraph

The Commonwealth Coalition government last week announced the new structure of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. After years of discussion and three years of research and consultation, they’ve come up…

We're not the 'human rights nation' we thought we were
Simon Cowan
05 November 2021 | Canberra Times

As the country celebrates the return of our ‘freedoms’, and promises echo that lockdowns are a thing of the past, it is hard to avoid a sobering conclusion that our…

Climate retreat may be one too many for the Nats
Scott Prasser
02 November 2021 | The Australian

During the past few weeks, the federal Nationals made headlines when they raised concerns about Scott Morrison’s climate change polices, and his decision to sign up to a 2050 carbon-emissions…

Net Zero By 2050? Don’t Plan on It
Tom Switzer
28 October 2021 | Wall Street Journal

As leaders prepare to gather in Glasgow for the United Nations climate-change conference, you may think the world has agreed to reduce and eventually eliminate its dependency on fossil fuels,…

Morrison should call Queensland’s hospital bluff to blast open borders
Robert Carling
12 October 2021 | Australian Financial Review

Most Commonwealth-state interactions in our federation ultimately come down to an argument about money. In the latest twist to the national cabinet’s COVID-19 response, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has managed…