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 Major Bank Levy: We’re all going to be hit
Michael Potter
19 June 2017 | RR29

The major bank levy was proposed in the 2017–18 Budget. The levy has numerous flaws including: The costs of the levy will likely be passed on as higher interest rates for mortgages and business loans, harming households and business investment which is very weak. The…

Welfare reform beyond decades of dependence, ‘dole bludgers’ and ‘double dipping’
Simon Cowan
31 May 2017 | OP156

Recent attempts to reform welfare have focused on the wrong elements of the system. In some cases, advocating tightening eligibility for unemployment benefits and single mother payments while simultaneously increasing the scope and cost of family benefits and pension payments. Blaming ‘dole bludgers’ will never…

Submission to IPART Review of Social and Affordable Housing Rent Models
Michael Potter
15 May 2017 | CIS Submission

In April, IPART released a draft report into models for setting social and affordable housing rent. The CIS submission on the IPART draft argues for reforms including: All new social housing tenants, and all existing tenants who wish to move, should be provided with informed…

Reforming Social Housing: financing and tenant autonomy
Michael Potter
27 April 2017 | RR25

Around 400,000 Australians live in social housing, which includes public and community housing. This sector is ripe for reform, with many public housing dwellings failing adequacy standards, numerous tenants are dissatisfied and live in housing that is too small or too large for their needs.…

Contemporary "Duck & Cover"? Terror Challenges in the 21st Century
David Kilcullen
01 December 2016 | OP150

Counter-insurgency expert, scholar and author Dr David Kilcullen is Chief Operating Officer of Meta Aerospace Capital, an aviation investment firm, and Chairman of First Mile Geo, a geospatial firm providing humanitarian mapping for NGOs in Syria and Africa. A former Australian Army officer, David has…

Media & Commentary

Despair beneath the boab tree
Sara Hudson
11 August 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

There is a stark contrast between the beauty of the Kimberley and the sense of despair enveloping many of the people living there. The State Coroner is currently conducting an…

Corbyn crusade turns north
Charles Jacobs
04 August 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Jeremy Corbyn’s summer crusade will land in Scotland as he continues a post-election charm offensive. Five days this month will be spent wooing voters in marginal seats as Labour attempt…

Gaming the Constitution undermines democracy
Simon Cowan
24 July 2017 | CANBERRA TIMES

If the news that Scott Ludlam was an accidental Kiwi and therefore ineligible to sit in the Senate was surprising, Larissa Waters’ announcement that she too was stepping down because…

Transactional politicians are on the nose and authenticity is hard to fake
Simon Cowan
24 June 2017 | The Canberra Times

The government’s “Gonski 2.0” education reforms passed the Senate but it was hardly the stirring victory it hoped. The process was a mess, and one of the main reasons is…

UK election: conventional political wisdom gets it wrong again
Simon Cowan
10 June 2017 | Canberra Times

The remarkable UK election results demonstrate yet again that it’s time to abandon unwavering belief in accepted political wisdom. One after another the shibboleths are falling. Labour’s stunning result suggests…