General – The Centre for Independent Studies


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.


Attitudes to a post-Covid Australia
Robert Carling, Simon Cowan
26 August 2021 | AP25

There are both reasons for optimism and reasons for pessimism in this paper. The poll suggests that Australians are unlikely to meekly accept ongoing lockdowns once vaccination reaches critical levels. Only a small minority believe we should continue to chase Covid Zero exclusively. Moreover, few…

Victims of failure – how the COVID-19 policy response let down Australians
Monica Wilkie
09 December 2020 | AP18

The government response to COVID-19 has imposed restrictions on Australians unseen in peacetime. As Australians approach nearly a year of living under varying coronavirus restrictions it is timely to analyse governments response to COVID-19. Victims of failure – how the COVID-19 policy response let down…

A House Divided: The AFRB and China's Subnational Diplomacy in Australia
Salvatore Babones
12 November 2020 | AP17

This paper examines China’s subnational diplomacy in Australia and the suitability of Australia’s Foreign Relations Bill (AFRB) as a tool for countering it. The AFRB is designed to help the Commonwealth keep tabs on international diplomacy involving Australian states, territories, local governments, and public universities.…

The 12-Week Window: Coronavirus crisis Australia didn’t have to have
Salvatore Babones
02 June 2020 | AP9

The coronavirus crisis was ‘the crisis that Australia didn’t have to have’. This paper lays out a detailed weekly timeline of the crucial first twelve weeks of the crisis, which were Australia’s window of opportunity for fighting the virus at the border instead of in…

Australia's Export Exposure to China's Coronavirus Epidemic
Salvatore Babones
18 February 2020 | AP7

This paper estimates the direct and immediate effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the revenues of Australia’s major export industries. It breaks down Australia’s exports to China across 18 major industry groups, including both goods and services exports. China’s coronavirus epidemic is likely to cost…

Media & Commentary

A happier new year, born of renewed perspective
Tom Switzer
26 December 2020 | SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

We all know 2020 will go down as a terrible year: a global pandemic, a government-induced recession to fight the virus, enormous debt and deficits, business uncertainty, cancelled holidays, closed…

Government response to COVID-19 must be scrutinised
Monica Wilkie
21 December 2020 | CANBERRA TIMES

Although COVID-19 cases clustered in metro areas, the indiscriminate nature of lockdowns means the regions will suffer the economic costs, potentially for longer. Even though Australia is recovering, we must…

Beware unintended consequences, Prime Minister
Tom Switzer
09 November 2019 | SMH

An important rule of politics is the law of unintended consequences. Implement hasty and radical policy and you will almost surely realise you’ve created many things you did not intend…

Instead of squabbling over tax cuts, let’s talk about real reform
Simon Cowan
02 July 2019 | The Spectator

The left’s calls for the Coalition to abandon its tax cut agenda and open the government purse strings for more spending are usually rejected by those on the right on…

Tax cut fight shows we're back to the same old Labor
Simon Cowan
22 June 2019 | The Canberra Times

No sooner were the left’s tears dry after the election loss, than they were out in the press pushing the need for the Coalition to abandon its tax cut agenda…