Think Tanks/Australia

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While there are only a handful of Australian think tanks they have played a significant role in Australian political debate. The most prominent think tanks from the 1970's on have been the conservative think tanks - the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) and the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) and its spin-off, the Sydney Institute.

The two long-standing think tanks loosely aligned with the Labor Party are the Australian Fabian Society, and the Evatt Foundation.

Locally based think tanks - such as the Brisbane Institute have emerged over the last decade while The Australia Institute, which could be loosely described as centre-left, has played a significant role in debate over social and environmental policies.

Some major political parties also fund their own think tanks, which receive government subsidies. These include the Menzies Research Centre (Liberal Party), the Chifley Research Centre (Australian Labor Party), and the Page Research Centre (National Party)

Australian tax laws allow some NGOs to be awarded charity status through an act of parliament. Many think-tanks have become registered charities through this provision, which has the benefit of conferring tax-deductibility without the usual transparency requirements. Groups like the Institute of Public Affairs and the Centre for Independent Studies are able to offer tax deductions to their corporate donors without having to make the relationship public.

Because the approval of new charities under this provision has to be passed by the Senate, it has traditionally been the subject of bipartisan compromise. In July 2005 the Liberal Party of Australia won the balance of power in the Senate, removing the need for compromise.

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Australian think tanks

Australian Examples

Defunct Think Tanks

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External links

Think Tank Websites

Australia Institute
Australian APEC Study Centre
Australian Fabian Society
Australian Farm Institute
Australian Institute of Employment Rights
Australian Strategic Policy Institute
Brisbane Institute
Centre for Independent Studies
Chifley Research Centre
Evatt Foundation
Institute for Private Enterprise
Institute of Public Affairs
Lowy Institute
Menzies Research Centre
Network Insight Institute
OzProspect
Page Research Centre
Sydney Institute

Media Reportage

Academic Analysis