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


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…

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…

Media & Commentary

Dragging gender into the public square
Jeremy Sammut
19 January 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

Libertarians and libertines used to argue that the government ‘should get out of people’s bedrooms’ because sex was a private matter of choice and consent between adults. But in the…

Free the Regions
Matthew O’Donnell
19 January 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

A cursory look at state politics across the country highlights one undeniable fact: city dominates country.  Rising crime and grand, costly infrastructure programs dominate the chatter in Lygon St, ageing…

It’s not time for a republic
Simon Cowan
12 January 2018 | IDEAS@THECENTRE

The Australian Republican Movement has identified few tangible benefits from making a constitutional change. It has neither a model to advocate for, nor any clear rationale for making the change.

Republican misstep
Simon Cowan
06 January 2018 | CANBERRA TIMES

After mistakenly opening the door earlier this week to the idea of a quick postal survey on Australia becoming a republic, the Prime Minister has rightfully shot down hope. This…

Alexander Downer meeting doesn't prove the Trump campaign colluded with Russia
Tom Switzer

Few political allegations are as persistent as the charge that Donald Trump is Vladimir Putin’s puppet. The theory goes like this: In 2016, the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to hack…