The CIS examines the roles and responsibilities of commonwealth, state and local governments, the fiscal aspects of federalism and the benefits a federal structure brings to Australia.


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

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!…

Extend the Parliament, limit the politician
Matthew O’Donnell
02 February 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

“The pound of flesh which I demand of him is dearly bought; ’tis mine and I will have it.” So requested the Merchant of Venice, and from time to time…

Turnbull must seize the moment on tax reform

Two months ago, there was a general consensus that Malcolm Turnbull was finished. His conservative critics in and outside the Liberal party room (including this writer) were proverbially hammering nails…

Changing date of Australia Day would distort our present
Jeremy Sammut
20 January 2018 | THE AUSTRALIAN

It is easy to criticise Richard Di Natale’s pledge to step up the Australian Greens’ campaign to move Australia Day from January 26 as a typical virtue-signalling gesture. But before…

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…