Typically, one who self-identifies as a small-l liberal in Australia professes admiration for some version of classical liberalism. They are in strong support of individualism, civil liberties and freedom of choice, with an essentially market-oriented approach to economics. Small-l liberals are social progressives to various degrees, with attitudes ranging from lukewarm to strong support for issues such as same-sex marriage, a republic and Aboriginal reconciliation. They support a moderate degree of government intervention in areas such as health and education. They can be distinguished from Labor supporters by their mistrust of trade union influence.
Within the Liberal Party of Australia, social conservatism and monetarist economics are both in a position of dominance, leaving some small-l liberals to support groups such as the Australian Democrats who began their existence as split-offs from the Liberal Party. However, many who describe themselves as "small-l" are happily ensconced within the Liberal Party and co-operate closely with the conservative forces in that party. Peter Costello, for example, was viewed as supporting an Australian republic and an apology for the stolen generations, but had cultivated a decade-long political partnership with the monarchist and arch-traditionalist John Howard.