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


Why childcare is not affordable
Eugenie Joseph
29 August 2018 | RR37

Childcare fees and out-of-pocket costs in Australia have been growing above inflation in recent years, at the same time that more parents are using formalised childcare to support their participation in the workforce. Childcare has been subject to growing and evolving regulation for many years,…

What the Gonski 2 Review got wrong
Jennifer Buckingham, Blaise Joseph
17 June 2018 | PP6

The Gonski 2 Review into Australian schools failed to fulfill its terms of reference to examine the evidence regarding the most effective teaching and learning strategies, and to provide advice on how the extra federal government funding for schools should be used to improve student…

Defending the Dual Citizen Ban
Simon Cowan
31 May 2018 | PP3

The High Court has rightfully resisted calls to read subjective elements into section 44(i) in order to keep the current crop of ineligible politicians in their seats. This interpretation is seen as harsh, but is based on sound legal principle and a common sense interpretation…

Red tape and Australia’s economic malaise
Michael Potter
07 February 2018 | OP164

Australia is in a period of economic malaise. GDP per person has been growing slowly ever since the GFC. Australia’s performance is mediocre compared to other developed countries; by contrast, we outperformed before the GFC. Household incomes and wages are also growing at slow rates,…

Media & Commentary

There are dangers in reading too much into a big swing in Wentworth
Tom Switzer
20 October 2018 | The Sydney Morning Herald

Byelections have often been bad news for governments. That is why they have learned to avoid them. Huge swings against the party in power have ultimately led to defeat in…

Does inequality matter?
Simon Cowan
05 October 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

This week we hosted an interesting discussion on inequality (see video). CIS Senior Fellow Robert Carling argued inequality is actually an integral part of a market economy, because the incentive…

Partisan infection is spreading to Australia
Simon Cowan
29 September 2018 | The Sydney Morning Herald

There are lessons for Australia in the extraordinary scenes surrounding the confirmation hearing of US President Donald Trump’s proposed Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. There is no question that this…

Time to cool it
Robert Forsyth
28 September 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

It’s time to cool off the rising heat about religious freedom. It has been four months since the report of the Ruddock Expert panel of religious freedom was handed to…

Budget (almost) balanced; now for the vote buying
Robert Carling
25 September 2018 | The Spectator

One of the rituals of the federal Budget cycle is the release of a final budget outcome for the preceding financial year around the end of September. For many of…