Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

Peter Mares

Peter Mares

Peter Mares is lead moderator with the Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership and a contributor to Inside Story magazine. He is the author of No Place Like Home: Repairing Australia’s Housing Crisis (Text Publishing, 2018), Not Quite Australian: How temporary migration is changing the nation (Text Publishing, 2016), and Borderline (UNSW Press 2001), an analysis of Australia’s refugee policies. Peter previously worked for twenty-five years as a broadcaster with the ABC, mostly with Radio National.

Peter Mares reviews 'To Firmer Ground: Restoring hope in Australia' by John Langmore

April 2008, no. 300 01 April 2008
Sometimes books date quickly. This is the fate of To Firmer Ground, which was published in October 2007, one month before the change of government in Canberra. Had it appeared one year earlier, or had Kevin Rudd not triumphed at the ballot box, then this book might have provided a timely critique of the policy failings of the Howard government. Six months later, with Kyoto ratified and the new par ... (read more)

Peter Mares reviews 'Unravelling Identity: Immigrants, identity and citizenship in Australia' by Trevor Batrouney and John Goldlust, and 'Borderwork in multicultural Australia' by Bob Hodge and John O'Carroll

September 2006, no. 284 01 September 2006
I witnessed Australia’s inglorious exit from the World Cup in a packed Balmain Rugby Leagues club. Many in the crowd were sporting green and gold, and when it came time for the pre-match national anthem, the crowd rose almost as one to join in a well-oiled and full-throated rendition of Advance Australia Fair. I was glad that my reluctance to take part was masked by the fact that I was already s ... (read more)

Peter Mares reviews 'Unravelling Identity: Immigrants, identity and citizenship in Australia' by Trevor Batrouney and John Goldlust, and 'Borderwork in multicultural Australia' by Bob Hodge and John O'Carroll

September 2006, no. 284 13 December 2023
I witnessed Australia’s inglorious exit from the World Cup in a packed Balmain Rugby Leagues club. Many in the crowd were sporting green and gold, and when it came time for the pre-match national anthem, the crowd rose almost as one to join in a well-oiled and full-throated rendition of Advance Australia Fair. I was glad that my reluctance to take part was masked by the fact that I was already s ... (read more)

Peter Mares reviews 'The Making of Julia Gillard' by Jacqueline Kent

December 2009–January 2010, no. 317 01 December 2009
Could it be that there is less to Julia Gillard than meets the eye? She is a woman of fierce intelligence, Australia’s best parliamentary performer, and one of the sharpest wits in Canberra. I met Gillard a couple of times early in her political career, when she was shadow minister for immigration, and engaged her in a lengthy discussion about refugee policy. This was not long after the Tampa af ... (read more)

Peter Mares reviews 'Lee's Law' by Chris Lydgate and 'The Mahathir Legacy' by Ian Stewart

April 2003, no. 250 18 October 2022
Singapore and Malaysia have a lot in common beyond a shared border and a shared colonial heritage. Both countries have been dominated for decades by one strong leader – Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore, Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Malaysia. Both have a weak Opposition and a muzzled media. Both have an internal security act inherited from the British, and which is used to detain people without trial. In both ... (read more)

Peter Mares reviews 'Australia's Immigration Revolution' by Andrew Markus, James Jupp and Peter McDonald

February 2010, no. 318 29 September 2022
In September 2009, Treasurer Wayne Swan revealed that Australia’s population of twenty-two million was growing much faster than anticipated. Just three years ago, the Intergenerational Report 2007 projected a population of twenty-eight and a half million in 2047. Treasury now expects the population to exceed thirty-five million people by 2049, an increase of almost sixty per cent. This forecast ... (read more)

Peter Mares reviews 'The Forest Wars' by Judith Ajani

October 2007, no. 295 01 October 2007
I am embarrassed by my deck. It is well designed, sturdily built and a congenial place on a balmy evening. The problem is that the deck is made with tropical hardwood, logged from a rainforest in South-East Asia. Not only have I added to Australia’s yawning trade deficit, I have also contributed to the decline of the globe’s equatorial lungs. ... (read more)

Peter Mares reviews 'Reconnected: A community builder’s handbook' by Andrew Leigh and Nick Terrell

January–February 2021, no. 428 17 December 2020
Disaster movies tend to follow a similar arc. Our band of heroes not only has to survive flames engulfing the skyscraper or sea water flooding the cruise liner, but must also triumph over the calculated selfishness of others who are also scrambling for salvation. The implication is that, with few exceptions, Thomas Hobbes was right. Amid the upheaval of the English Civil War, Hobbes declared that ... (read more)

Peter Mares reviews 'Lifeboat Cities' by Brendan Gleeson and 'Transport for Suburbia' by Paul Mees

September 2010, no. 324 01 September 2010
These two books share common assumptions about the nature of our cities and our collective future as homo urbanis. If we are to survive the impending disaster of climate change and build an environmentally durable and socially just future, then we must do so within our existing, sprawling suburban landscapes. Gleeson and Mees know and respect one another’s work – each quotes the other approvin ... (read more)

Peter Mares reviews 'The Future of Us: Demography gets a makeover' by Liz Allen

May 2020, no. 421 28 April 2020
In Australia, debate about population runs in well-worn grooves. The focus is on size – ‘big Australia’ versus ‘not-so-big Australia’ – and the tool used to regulate numbers is immigration. When politicians link population growth to excessive house prices, traffic congestion, unemployment, or crime, they call for immigration cuts, not for birth control. Liz Allen wants us to think abo ... (read more)
Page 1 of 2