In an impassioned speech, Peter Garrett said the Adani coal project “cannot be allowed to happen” and promised he would be in the front line to stop it, writes Giles Parkinson.
Today, The Hon Peter Garrett AM addressed the National Press Club in Canberra, in a session titled “Trashing Our Crown Jewel: The Fate of the Great Barrier Reef in the Coal Age”.
To read the full transcript of Peter’s speech, click here.
I’ve accepted an invite to speak at the National Press Club, Tue 24 Oct. The session will be titled “Trashing Our Crown Jewel: The Fate of the Great Barrier Reef in the Coal Age”. Tickets available via www.npc.org.au/speakers/peter-garrett
Peter Garrett will be at The Piano: Centre for Music and the Arts in Christchurch on Sunday 10 September as part of WORD Christchurch ‘Shifting Points of View’ series to talk about his book Big Blue Sky and sign copies afterwards. Limited tickets available: http://www.artsfestival.co.nz/big-blue-sky
SYDNEY, Australia. Feb 17. 2017. 9:45am AEDT.
Legendary Australian rock band and agitators Midnight Oil today announced their first World Tour in over two decades. They also unveiled plans to release three archival box sets including a collection called “The Overflow Tank” which will contain more than 14 hours of previously unreleased and rare material.
“The Great Circle 2017” World Tour will see the group’s classic line-up literally circle around our overheating planet for 6 months, starting and ending with gigs in Sydney. Appropriately for a band forged in their hometown’s sweat-drenched beer barns, the tour will begin in mid-April with an intimate local pub gig (details to be announced closer to the date). Midnight Oil will then hone their live show with over 30 gigs around the world during the northern summer, playing iconic venues from Sao Paulo’s Espaço das Americas and the Wiltern in L.A. to London’s Hammersmith Apollo and The Olympia in Paris. They will share festival stages with artists like Arcade Fire, Sting and The Pixies and finally return to New Zealand after 20 years.
This long-awaited World Tour will climax with 18 special homecoming concerts through October and November, 2017. Given the band’s deep connections with central Australia the local leg will kick off in Alice Springs and Darwin before starting to circle their homeland with a show in the rainforest near Cairns. Over the following five weeks the tour will loop clockwise around the country in mainly outdoor venues including Hope Estate in the Hunter Valley, Victoria’s Hanging Rock and Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Brisbane’s Riverstage and the Village Green beside Adelaide Oval before “The Great Circle” finally comes to a close right back where it all began; with a final show in Sydney on November 11 at that traditional home of Australian political activism, The Domain.
These will be Midnight Oil’s only shows in the last 15 years apart from two stadium benefit concerts (and their related small warmup gigs); “Waveaid” at the Sydney Cricket Ground (2005) and “Sound Relief” at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (2009). It will also be the group’s most extensive world tour since their classic late 80’s/early 90’s albums like “Diesel & Dust”, “Blue Sky Mining” and “Earth & Sun & Moon” sold over 10 million copies around the globe.
The diverse spread of Special Guests who have signed up to be part of this unique tour reflect the long shadow that Midnight Oil has cast across the musical landscape. They include significant Australian voices such as John Butler Trio, AB Original, Adalita, Apakatjah, Bad/Dreems, Birds Of Tokyo, David Bridie, Ash Grunwald, Irrunytju Band, Jack River, Jedediah, The Jezebels, The Living End, Abbe May, Something For Kate, Spiderbait, Dan Sultan, Urthboy, and Frank Yamma.
People who sign up to Midnight Oil’s mailing list at www.midnightoil.com/mailing-list in the next few days will get first access to Australian tickets in a special pre-sale on Thursday February 23rd alongside Frontier Touring Members. Remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday February 27th.
All dates, venues, line-ups and ticket information are listed below (digital version here). Exact on sale times are deliberately being staggered from show to show to reduce website congestion so fans should pay very careful attention to all the details at www.midnightoil.com/tour-dates . Extensive anti-scalping measures are being taken around this tour so fans are formally advised to only buy tickets from the official ticket agencies listed on the band’s website to avoid possible fraud and needless overpayment via so called “reselling” sites.
“The Great Circle 2017” will be promoted in Australia by iconic locally owned rock promoter, Frontier Touring with the support of the band’s record company of nearly 40 years, Sony Music. The national Triple M Network and Foxtel’s MAX will proudly present all dates with some shows also having local presenting radio partners (see info below). Both Triple M and MAX will unveil exclusive Midnight Oil programming over coming days.
In a unique press conference on Sydney Harbour today this most Australian of bands also announced the impending release of a remastered CD box set called “The Full Tank” featuring all of their existing albums and EP’s plus a mammoth new 4 CD/8 DVD trove called “The Overflow Tank” which will include over 14 hours of previously unreleased and rare material. Both of these box sets will be housed in replica miniature water tanks like the one featured onstage at so many ‘Oils’ gigs. The band also unveiled their first ever complete Vinyl collection which will feature 11 remastered LP’s and two 12” EP’s all cut at Abbey Rd Studios in London. For full boxset track listings and content information visit www.midnightoil.com/store The Boxset Collection is available for pre-order now, out May 5 through Sony Music.
Anyone with even a passing knowledge of Australian culture knows the basics of Midnight Oil’s story. They are the incendiary post-punk band from Sydney’s northern beaches who shunned TV shows like Countdown, instead gigging endlessly and forging a fierce bond with their audience through jagged Ozrock classics like “Back On The Borderline”, “Bus To Bondi” and “Don’t Wanna Be The One”. They are the musical innovators who turned high tech anti-jingoistic polemic into hits like “Power & The Passion”, “U.S. Forces” and “When The Generals Talk”. They are the activists whose social justice campaigning includes “The Dead Heart”, “Redneck Wonderland”, “Beds Are Burning” and hijacking the 2000 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony with their “Sorry” suits. They are the committed humanists and environmentalists who brought us anthems like “Blue Sky Mine”, “Forgotten Years” and “Say Your Prayers” plus a string of protests from the Tasmanian wilderness and the Jabiluka Uranium mine near Kakadu to mid-town Manhattan where they unforgettably stopped traffic outside the Exxon building after the Alaskan oil spill.
Their music makes you feel. Their lyrics make you think. And the combined impact live onstage is nothing less than a call to action.
In a dangerously warming world of Hanson, Trump, Petry and Le Pen the voice of Midnight Oil clearly takes on renewed relevance; they have always been a band that both reflects and shapes “the temper of the times”. So while clarion calls like “it’s better to die on your feet than live on your knees” may have been intended for earlier eras they resonate more than ever in these days of ‘alternative facts’.
In keeping with the band’s longstanding commitments, their carbon footprint during “The Great Circle” World Tour will, of course, be fully offset and sustainability initiatives will be undertaken at all shows. Midnight Oil will also continue their collaborations with local and international environmental organisations including Greenpeace, supporting their campaigns on crucial issues like dangerous climate change and the imminent threats to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
At one level “The Great Circle 2017” simply reflects the geographic reality that the tour will loop around the world and then circle Australia. At another level the name clearly implies the planet itself but it has a further meaning too. Sailors, and airmen use “the great circle” to navigate the globe because on a sphere the shortest distance between two points is not usually a straight line. How appropriate for a group who has always been deeply engaged with the world around them but whose career path has never been linear.
Midnight Oil is more than just a rock ‘n’ roll band. In 2017 they will finally bring things back to where they all began. The circle remains unbroken.
For further information including full list of tour dates visit www.midnightoil.com/tour-dates
According to Peter Garrett, putting his new band on stage for the upcoming Zoo Twilight concerts makes perfect sense, writes Martin Boulton.
PETER GARRETT & KEV CARMODY: Twilight at the Zoos treats Sydney & Melbourne music fans with two greats sharing the same stage for the first time!
Both Peter Garrett and Kev Carmody have spent decades recording and performing songs which tap deeply into the Australian psyche. Until now the two have never shared the same stage but will later this month as they open the Twilight at Taronga series in Sydney on Friday January 27th and Melbourne Zoo Twilights on Saturday January 28th. Tickets are still available for these spectacular open air concert events but they won’t last long… grab them now from twilightattaronga.org.au.
After nearly 15 years away from the recording studio, Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett made a triumphant return in July 2016 with his debut solo album ‘A Version Of Now’ entering the national album charts at number 3 and earning an ARIA nomination. Described as “Aussie anthems with ripper, real words ringing in your ears” Stack Mag ‘… this was Peter Garrett as you’ve never hear him with songs of love, songs of home and sweet memories chafing against songs of relentless resistance with, as ever, a steely eye on a better future.‘ Check out the exclusive MAX documentary ‘Peter Garrett: A Version of Now (The Full Story)’ here.
Soon after the album was released Peter Garrett led The Alter Egos on a national sell out tour receiving great acclaim for their authentic engaging live sets. With Martin Rotsey from the Oils on guitar, Mark Wilson from Jet on bass, Peter Luscombe (Rockwiz, Paul Kelly, Black Sorrows) on drums, Abbe May on guitar and Rosa Morgan (Red Ghost) on keyboards the band deliver a potent mix of Garrett’s new tunes along with a few surprises.
Kev Carmody is one of Australia’s pre-eminent singer songwriters, a storyteller of Aboriginal and Irish heritage. Often referred to as the gentleman of music, he has blessed us with many a poignant tune including one of the most important Indigenous rights songs of all time, ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ penned with his great friend and long-time fan Paul Kelly. Renowned for his affable delivery and emotive performances Kev is equally at home on world stages as he is with youth and prison inmates, or at the many song writing and recording workshops he has shared with communities in Western NSW, NT and QLD.
In October 2015 Kev Carmody released ‘Recollections…Reflections… (A Journey)’ his first album in 12 years. The 4 CD set presented in deluxe packaging with a superb photo booklet features 40 songs – a collection of stories, written and collected over forty years – politically charged, driven by the history of his peoples’ struggles and set on the land he loves.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see Peter Garrett and The Alter Egos at the Taronga Twilight Series 2017 as he closes off his solo album cycle with his respected friend and peer Kev Carmody opening proceedings in the glorious grounds of Taronga Zoo Sydney and Melbourne.
PETER GARRETT & THE ALTER EGOS W/ SPECIAL GUEST KEV CARMODY
Friday 27 January – TWILIGHT AT TARONGA – SYDNEY
Tickets from twilightattaronga.org.au
Saturday 28 January – MELBOURNE ZOO TWILIGHTS
Tickets from zootwilights.org.au
29 October 2016
The JK McDougall Lecture to the Ararat Branch of the Australian Labor Party (edited version) by Peter Garrett.
‘Labor, the natural party of the environment.’
Politics in 2016 is shrinking; hollowing out and spiralling in weird directions that are hard to discern, especially through the din of the Internet echo chamber.
The government is beset from within by fractious elements, and from without by a rebellious Senate replete with cranks and bottom feeding minor parties.
A compelling narrative, the holy grail so beloved of political strategists, is absent. Issues that are pressing and once made headlines have all but disappeared from view.
That is certainly true of my love and former portfolio, the environment. Throughout the mid to late 1980’s, the environment consistently rated highly as an issue of concern for voters.
In the early 2000’s, with a long drought hammering the eastern states, climate change, or global warming as it was more commonly described, emerged as a leading issue, but by then environment had moved down the list of topics that agitated the electorate.
The irony here is that greenhouse gas emissions were heading off the graph, and, as charted in successive ‘State of the Environment’ reports, on most indices of environmental health Australia was going backwards.
The Howard government refused to accept that dangerous climate change would threaten Australia. For many conservatives it simply didn’t exist, despite significant and growing consensus from climate scientists.
One of the main motivations for me to come into Parliament in 2004 was the lack of action on what a Labor prime minister would later call “the great moral challenge of our generation”. Rudd’s subsequent retreat, along with the Green party’s refusal to support a scheme they believed was less than perfect, set climate change reform back several years but did not diminish its importance.
Eventually the Gillard government legislated for a price on carbon and the sky didn’t fall in. It was a genuinely historic moment, even if the eyes of the media were fixed at the time on more sensational diversions, like leadership tensions.
In the midst of the current craziness of the “alt right” – both here and abroad – I believe Labor now has a unique opportunity to cement its position as the “true party of protecting our natural environment” as Shadow Environment Minister Mark Butler has put it.
Labor has always been the party of environmental reform. The Whitlam government blocked oil drilling on the Great Barrier Reef, created the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and established the first national environmental protection legislation.
The Hawke government stopped the Franklin Dam, established Landcare, and secured protection of the Antarctic and Kakadu.
More recently, including during my time as environment minister, the Rudd/Gillard governments legislated a price on carbon pollution, established a world – class series of marine reserves and took the fight up to the Japanese over their sham whaling ‘science’ like never before; all the way to the International Court of Justice.
Today, with Labor again just a heartbeat away from government, I believe Federal Labor’s increasingly low primary vote could be arrested if it unequivocally put environment at the centre of its policy and political focus.
In a way this would be to simply make explicit what is usually the case, namely that steps to protect and conserve the environment mostly only happen via reforming Labor governments.
With few exceptions the Liberal/National parties rarely advance protection of the environment and in most instances are hostile to it. Witness their current attempts to significantly limit scrutiny of the environmental impacts of major projects.
Despite chasing power for two decades the Greens never quite live up to their own hype and expectation. They are not inherently more virtuous than any other political party, and certainly a lot less effective.
Incidentally I don’t harbour the same dislike of the Greens of some in the Labor party. After all, Green preferences are increasingly important to Labor’s electoral prospects, even if their primary vote seems to have peaked in 2010.
Yet when it comes to actually implementing policy that protects the environment, Labor has runs already on the board. We should celebrate and build on this record.
Climate change is the obvious game changer, as much an economic as an environment issue.
In one corner stand the dinosaur coal economies. Their ‘dark, satanic mills’ continuing to pump ever increasing volumes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, compromising national economies with the risk of stranded assets in the short term, and life on earth in the long term.
In the opposite corner stand the new low carbon economies, with revitalized manufacturing industries and increasing employment courtesy of a plethora of renewable and energy efficient technologies on the go.
I know which corner I would want my country to be in. And given two million renewable jobs were added to the world economy over a two-year period, and the estimated growth in global investment in renewables from around $400 billion today to $2.5 trillion by 2035, the date by which temperatures need to stabilize at no more than two degrees above pre-industrial levels, I know what corner Labor needs to stand in.
There’s a reason we are seeing more intense cyclones, the fate of the Great Barrier Reef hanging in the balance with recent severe coral bleaching, six years of continual drought in California costing billions, Pacific Island states leading the push to reduce emissions world wide. To paraphrase Bill Clinton, ‘It’s climate change stupid.’
As things stand, a reform minded federal Labor government could, with strong policies and political will, lead the effort to arrest this tidal wave of decline.
Scoffers beware. Consider that from the introduction of a price on carbon in 2011 Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, previously on an upward trajectory, were reduced by some 40,000 tonnes.
Partnering this success came hundreds of millions of dollars recycled into renewable initiatives and research. It was a scheme that worked – a small, perfect circle, albeit a small one.
For an all – too – brief period Labor’s scheme put paid to two insidious notions. The first that governments can’t get anything right, and, secondly, that the economic system would fall over if there was an impost on carbon pollution.
History records that Tony Abbott’s subsequent dismantling of a scheme he claimed would wreak unimaginable havoc on Australian communities – wiping the town of Whyalla ‘off the map’ for instance – was a successful political tactic for the Liberal/National coalition.
Yet Abbott was wrong on every count, as the economy chugged along and emissions began to taper.
Abbott put a wrecking ball through the new economy that was meeting the climate change challenge and the country was poorer for his success. National environment and climate policy have been in the doldrums ever since.
The crisis of faith in our institutions, including political parties, arises in part from the understandable view that the only reason these institutions exist is to channel and formalize the pursuit of power.
But this is selling the democratic experience short. It’s a kind of cynicism that disempowers those who might want to contribute, and it reduces any analysis of political action into a “what’s in it for him or her?” charade.
Furthermore such a mean spirited view flies in the face of history, the great teacher, which shows time and again that progressive governments, pushed by political activists, empowered by their citizens, supported by their members, are always needed to deliver the big changes.
It is on this question of empowerment, specifically for the Labor party, that I want to conclude.
In the run up to the 2016 election, a cross factional grouping, with support from many Labor branches, known as LEAN (the Labor Environment Action Network) actively sought to improve Labor’s policy in the area of renewable energy.
They organized, lobbied, discussed, worked with unions and the party leadership, and ultimately helped secure significant policy improvements of a fifty per cent Renewable Energy Target, and strong emission reduction targets in the national platform.
They recognized that for a party founded on the principle of fairness, failing to act on climate change was nothing less than a betrayal of history.
It is this capacity to organise, to have faith that imperfect institutions can make change, to recognise that real reform is hard work but that being a part of a political party enables that effort, that created this achievement.
What would a roadmap to a low carbon economy with a healthy environment look like?
Firstly, strong national leadership and strong environment laws to protect our natural treasures, and ensure healthy productive landscapes.
Secondly, substantial emissions reduction targets, a price on pollution and focused investment to accelerate the shift from coal to renewable energy.
Thirdly, a reconfigured tax system to encourage the move away from fossil fuels into renewables and energy efficiency.
Fourthly, coordinated long overdue national investment in infrastructure to make our cities healthier, easier places in which to live and work.
Finally, international cooperation and action on climate change, as a leader not a laggard, delivering real reductions on greenhouse pollution, aiming to exceed our promises under the recently signed Paris Agreement.
Many of these initiatives are already in policy. Many have their supporters both inside and outside Labor. A whole – of – party embrace gets them over the line.
Former environment minister says party needs to make commitment more explicit in order to win over progressive voters, who have drifted to the Greens.
Peter Garrett has announced that he will be playing some very special shows at Taronga Zoo‘s ‘Twilight at Taronga‘ concert series (Friday 27 Jan) and Melbourne Zoo Twilight Sessions (Saturday 28 Jan) with his band The Alter Egos. Peter will be supported by the incomparable Kev Carmody at both shows.
Fan pre-sale starts this Friday 21 October at 9:00am – pre-sale links will be posted here and on Peter’s website come Friday morning. General public on-sale Tuesday 25 October 9:00am. Hope to see you there.
A video of ‘It Still Matters’, the potent closing track to Peter Garrett’s debut album, is available for viewing here.
Directed by Paul Elliott from Light Corporation, the video is part composition of daily life and part performance, with Garrett straddling his guitar whilst delivering a passionate, spoken word vocal. As a pungent, evocative reflection on the world around us ‘It Still Matters’ should attract plenty of interest from viewers.
Peter Garrett’s solo album ‘A Version of Now’ made its debut on the national ARIA album charts at number 3 as he and his touring band The Alter Egos wrapped up the west coast leg of their national tour. Here’s what the critics are saying about the album and tour:
“A triumphant return to the stage” The Music
**** Rolling Stone
**** The Australian
“Aussie anthems with ripper, real words ringing in your ears” Stack Mag
**** The Music
**** Herald Sun
**** “A remarkable comeback gig” West Australian
Shows in Brisbane, Maroochydore, Adelaide, Sydney, Belmont, Canberra and Melbourne have sold out with a handful of tickets left for Wollongong.
Tickets to the Darwin Festival are still available.
‘It Still Matters’, the third track from Peter Garrett’s forthcoming debut solo album, is available now as an instant grat on pre-order of ‘A Version of Now’ (released this Friday July 15).
The track reminds us of Peter’s stature as a seminal songwriter, as he delivers his inspirational lyrics with an emotive spoken word style, whilst the potency of the musicians joining Garrett on ‘A Version of Now’ is in full swing here.
“’It Still Matters’ was the last song written for the album. It was the bookend I needed to sum up the music we’d already made and to make clear how I felt about the state of play in my world and beyond.”
Peter and his touring band The Alter Egos will share his debut solo album with fans in intimate venues throughout July and August 2016.
Shows in Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne have sold out, fans in other cities are advised to get in now to avoid disappointment.
Notable Australian musicians spanning several generations will join Peter on his first ever solo tour, some of whom also performed on the album. Martin Rotsey from the Oils on guitar, Mark Wilson from Jet on bass and Peter Luscombe (RocKwiz, Paul Kelly, Black Sorrows) on drums. Rosa Morgan (Red Ghost) will also join on keyboards whilst WA’s Abbe May will complete the live band line-up on guitar.
With ‘Tall Trees’ and ‘Great White Shark’ already rolling around on radio airwaves, the lyrics for ‘It Still Matters’ are shared for the first time here, listen to it here.
It Still Matters (Garrett)
Watching the parade on the news last night
I was one that walked that road before
When everything feels like its crumbling
Like the writing’s on the wall
But dreams are broken, mended and they scatter
Like seeds they fall and then the fruit is gathered
It always was and always will, be a struggle to fulfil
Stay strong and heed the call
It still matters to me
I hope it matters to you
First principles: concrete action reconciliation no more talking fix the system stop keep it strong and give it purpose stop complaining look at nurses, there’s no material privation in the fine open cut nation, blinded by the infant me whose appetite is never filled, whose appetite is never filled till every living thing is killed, whilst the selfish few still fight for more in a planet smashing selfish war.
We all take an escalator to that Woolies in the sky
To reprise Dante’s inferno no longer in disguise
Across a windswept open plain some still go against the grain, against the waste the opulence, subtle, sneaking, creeping up on ya, breaking bread on the riverbank, washing nappies at the water tank, happy clappy days are numbered, tumblr grindr drag you under, mixed emotions cost us dearly, years of self-absorption really, electric cars and white gazebos, gadgets that can’t save our world where one side has an excavator the other has a wooden spoon, self-centred slick celebrities are crowding out the room, it is obvious inglorious self-evident laborious, so tame this monster once and for all, name it shame it rearrange it, so the dream becomes the real and we can feel and we can see
Now in this moment we oppose it, we’ll deplore it, we’ll repose it, reimagine recompose, make it happen now make it close
Because this is dignity, there is hope, there is light at the end of the road, and it still matters to me I hope it matters to you
A documentary about the album’s creation will screen on MAX tomorrow, Tuesday July 12 at 9.30pm.
The woman in the documentary – narrated by Peter Garrett – tells of receiving broken ribs as her husband kicked her on the floor, and having to take a punch he intended for her child.
- Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett joins Bondi Pavilion fight
- Liberal not proud of crossing floor on pavilion issues
- Waverley Council preparing ‘fair use’ policy for Bondi Pavilion
- Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull drawn into pavilion debate
THE community will get another chance to comment on the $38 million upgrade of Bondi Pavilion, with Waverley Mayor Sally Betts saying she is prepared to “slow down” the process.
Peter Garrett: solo album ‘A Version of Now’ leads Midnight Oil comeback – Iain Shedden, The Australian
No one has ever looked more relaxed and comfortable. Sitting on a sofa sipping tea, he is a formidable, familiar figure, happily taking stock of his life against the backdrop of a Sydney recording studio. In this chamber there is no opposition to shout him down, no policies on a knife edge, no Kevin Rudd. All that could cause a commotion here are the amplifiers, the microphones, the mixing desk and, of course, the man himself. Peter Garrett has come home.