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

Why the history wars matter
Jeremy Sammut
10 November 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Before I became what I half-jokingly describe as a fact-grubber and barrow pusher — a think tanker — I was formally trained as an historian.  My PhD thesis examined the…

Citizenship question or entitlement mentality?
Simon Cowan
10 November 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Any person who … is a subject or citizen … of a foreign power … shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member…

Despair beneath the boab tree
Sara Hudson
11 August 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

There is a stark contrast between the beauty of the Kimberley and the sense of despair enveloping many of the people living there. The State Coroner is currently conducting an…

Corbyn crusade turns north
Charles Jacobs
04 August 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Jeremy Corbyn’s summer crusade will land in Scotland as he continues a post-election charm offensive. Five days this month will be spent wooing voters in marginal seats as Labour attempt…

Gaming the Constitution undermines democracy
Simon Cowan
24 July 2017 | CANBERRA TIMES

If the news that Scott Ludlam was an accidental Kiwi and therefore ineligible to sit in the Senate was surprising, Larissa Waters’ announcement that she too was stepping down because…