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 History Wars Matter
Jeremy Sammut
08 November 2017 | OP159

Despite what the post-modern theorists claim, the nation remains the ultimate political reality. The power of the national story to inspire our collective beliefs about ourselves as Australians, and for those beliefs to inspire the direction of our national life, is the reason the history…

UBI – Universal Basic Income is an Unbelievably Bad Idea
Simon Cowan
05 November 2017 | RR32

The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI), paid by the government to its citizens with few restrictions, has been around for a long time. One of the main justifications for introducing a UBI is the impending changes to the labour market as a result…

Medi-Mess: Rational Federalism and Patient Cost-Sharing for Public Hospital Sustainability in Australia
David Gadiel, Jeremy Sammut
16 July 2017 | RR30

The latest attempt to ‘end the blame game’ between the state and federal governments over health funding was scuttled after state premiers rejected Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘tax swap’ federalism reform proposal at the April 2016 COAG meeting.  The intransigence of the states —and the…

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…

Media & Commentary

Voters keeping our democracy alive
Charles Jacobs
06 April 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

Our two-party system is broken, Australian democracy is in a ‘parlous state’, and the populists are marching on Canberra in their droves. Those are the conclusions being drawn after the…

Regulating the sharing economy will kill the jobs it brings
Matthew O’Donnell, Eugenie Joseph
21 March 2018 | Australian Financial Review

Whatever good intentions ACTU secretary Sally McManus may have, her call for the federal government to meddle in the contractual arrangements of workers in the sharing economy is more likely…

It’s time to Fightback! again
Mark McFarlane
16 March 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the 1993 federal election, which was fought primarily over Liberal Opposition leader John Hewson’s economic reform agenda called Fightback! This is what Fightback!…

Politics must change
Terence Duggan
09 March 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

As Australians, we have become used to isolation from currents of change around the globe. In the case of the world’s recent populist tsunamis, we shouldn’t be so confident. Since…

Beware consequences of integrity bill to govern foreign donations
Simon Cowan
03 March 2018 | The Sydney Morning Herald

Parliament is currently considering a Bill aimed at improving the “integrity… of Australia’s electoral system” by adding ‘public accountabilities’ to civil society. The bill aims to do two things: radically…