Peter Garrett

Infobox Politician
honorific-prefix = The Honourable

name =Peter Garrett AM

honorific-suffix =BA (ANU), LLB (NSW), MP

caption =Peter Garrett campaigning in Melbourne for the 9 October 2004 Australian election

office = Australian House of Representatives Member for Kingsford Smith
term_start = 9 October 2004 -
term_end =
predecessor = Laurie Brereton
successor =
constituency =Kingsford Smith
majority =
office2 = 21st Minister for Environment, Heritage and the Arts
term_start2 = 3 December 2007
term_end2 =
predecessor2 = Malcolm Turnbull
successor2 =
constituency2 =
majority2 =
office3 = Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment, Heritage and the Arts
term_start3 = December 2006
term_end3 = 3 December 2007
predecessor3 = Anthony Albanese
successor3 =
constituency3 =
majority3 =
birth_date =Birth date and age|1953|04|16|df=y
birth_place =Sydney, NSW
nationality = Australian
death_date =
death_place =
party =Australian Labor Party
relations =
spouse = Doris (m.1986)
civil partner =
children = Emily, May, Grace
residence = Randwick, New South Wales
occupation =Politician, Activist, Musician
alma_mater = Australian National University, University of New South Wales
religion = Christian

website = []
footnotes =

Peter Robert Garrett AM MP (born 16 April 1953), is an Australian musician and politician. He has been an Australian Labor Party member of the House of Representatives for the seat of Kingsford Smith, New South Wales, since October 2004. After the Labor Party won in the November 2007 election, Garrett was appointed as Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. [ [ BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Australia's Rudd unveils cabinet ] ] [ [ YouTube - The Chasers War on Everything: Peter Garrett "Jocular" ] ] He was lead singer of the Australian rock band Midnight Oil from 1973 to their disbanding in 2002. He has served as President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, and was inducted into the Order of Australia (Member General Division) for his contribution to environment and the music industry in 2003.

Music and activism

Born in Sydney, Garrett attended Barker College in Hornsby, before studying Arts at the Australian National University and later Law at the University of New South Wales. About the same time he became a rock singer with the Australian rock band Midnight Oil in 1973, after responding to an advertisement placed by one of the band's founding members Rob Hirst. [] Dead link|date=August 2008. In tandem with its musical and commercial success, the band was long identified with environmentalist causes. It was particularly critical of United States military and foreign policies during the 1980s.

Garrett was president of the Australian Conservation Foundation (1989-1993, 1998-2004). He joined the international board of Greenpeace in 1993 for a two-year term. He served as adviser and patron to various cultural and community organisations including Jubilee Debt Relief, and was a founding member of the Surfrider Foundation.

On and off stage, Midnight Oil often made political statements. At the closing ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, the group performed before Prime Minister John Howard and a television audience of hundreds of millions, wearing black tracksuits bearing the word "sorry." This referred to the Howard Government's refusal to apologise to Aboriginal Australians for the former policy of removing of Aboriginal children from their families.

In 2000 Garrett was awarded the Australian Humanitarian Foundation Award in the Environment category and in 2001 he received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of New South Wales. He left Midnight Oil in 2002 to concentrate on his environmental and social activism, effectively spelling the end for the group. He has since ruled out any future musical projects, stating that his musical career was always exclusively bound to Midnight Oil. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003.

Following the Asian Tsunami of Boxing Day 2004, Garrett and the other members of Midnight Oil reformed for two gigs as a part of the fund-raising event WaveAid.

On 7 July, 2007 Garrett presented Crowded House at the Australian leg of Live Earth.

Australian federal politics

Garrett's first attempt at entering politics was in 1984, when he co founded the Nuclear Disarmament Party and stood for a seat in the Australian Senate in New South Wales at the December 1984 federal election. He needed 12.5% of the vote to win a seat in the Senate voting system, but a primary vote of just over 9% was insufficient when Labor gave its preferences to the conservative National Party ahead of the NDP.

In June 2004, Labor leader Mark Latham announced that Garrett would become an Australian Labor Party candidate for the House of Representatives at the 2004 federal election, in the safe New South Wales seat of Kingsford Smith which was being vacated by the former Cabinet minister Laurie Brereton. There was some initial criticism from Labor members in the electorate, as this overrode the local branch's wishes. He won an easy victory on 9 October, increasing the Labor majority there.

In June 2005, Garrett was appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Reconciliation and the Arts.

Garrett has modified many of his earlier views and says he is now a "team player" in the Labor Party. He now supports the U.S.-Australia alliance, and no longer opposes the Joint U.S-Australian Defence Facility at Pine Gap. [ [ PM - Peter Garrett back flips on Pine Gap ] ] He says he will argue for environmental causes inside the Labor Party, but will observe the decisions of the ALP caucus, including accepting any decision to change Labor's "no new uranium mines" policy. [ [,23739,20912936-952,00.html] "Power Beats Passion". 2006. Courier Mail.] Garrett's change of stance drew criticism from both journalists and Midnight Oil fans, who contrasted Garrett's former pronouncements on environmental and political issues he made before joining the Australian Labor Party. [ [,22049,21484678-5001028,00.html?from=public_rss The Daily Telegraph 1 April 2007: Garrett denies selling out beliefs] retrieved 15 April 2007] ]

While the media generally responded negatively Lopsided|date=September 2008 to Garrett's alleged betrayal of his former beliefs, labelling him a "turncoat", some commentators, such as the Canberra Times columnist John Warhurst, defended his need to be a "team player" if he was going to play the political game "from the inside". [ [ Politics is a team sport - Eureka Street ] ]

During the 2006 Victorian State election campaign, Garrett urged voters to vote not for the Australian Greens, but for his own Labor Party. This incurred the ire of Greens leader and former Garrett ally, Bob Brown who accused Garrett of having "sold out" and of going against the green movement, since joining the Labor Party. [ [ Brown sees red over Garrett 'sell out' - National - ] ]

Peter Garrett is a committed Christian.cite web | url= | title=The night a man woke up to mortality, love and civic duty | publisher="The Sydney Morning Herald" | date=2004-06-13 | accessdate=2007-11-09] Although he firmly supports the separation of church and state, Garrett has commented extensively during his time in Parliament on the implementation of Christian values and how "personal values should and do inform one's day to day thought processes and decision-making." [ [] "Online Opinion - The Oxygen We Breathe". 2006. Peter Garrett.] [ [] "Peter Garrett on Peacemaking in the 21st Century". 2006. Peter Garrett.]

In December 2006 Kevin Rudd, the newly-elected Labor Party leader, announced that he planned to appoint Garrett to his front bench. Garrett was subsequently appointed as Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment & Heritage, Arts. [cite journal | last=ALP | first= | authorlink= | title=Shadow Ministry 10th December 2006 | journal=Labor eHerald | volume= | issue= | pages= | publisher= | location= |date=2006-12-10 | url= | accessdate=2007-12-15 ]

Garrett has been criticised for giving support to the Gunns company's plan to build the Bell Bay Pulp Mill in the environmentally sensitive Tamar Valley, Tasmania.cite web | url= | title=Garrett pathetic over pulp mill: Howard | publisher="The Sydney Morning Herald" |date=2007-10-09 | accessdate=2007-11-05]

In the 2007 Federal election, Garrett was re-elected to his seat with a 4.56% swing towards him.cite web | url= | title=Australian Electoral Commission summary of Kingsford Smith, Federal Election 2007. | publisher="Australian Electoral Commission" |date=2007-12-19 | accessdate=2007-12-19] However, his campaign was fraught with a number of tactical errors, including journalist Steve Price claiming that Garrett had said to him that Labor would simply change all their policies once they got into power. This was disputed by Garrett as a "short jocular conversation". [ [] "Garrett stripped of climate change role"]

On 29 November 2007, Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd named Garrett Minister for Environment, Heritage and Arts; [ [,23599,22842376-5013469,00.html] "Kevin Rudd's Cabinet in full". 29 November 2007.] however, his responsibilities did not include the climate change role, which was given to Penny Wong. [ [] Garrett stripped of climate change role]

On 20 December 2007, Garrett approved a controversial plan to dredge Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay. [ [ Garrett approves Port Phillip dredging - Breaking News - National - Breaking News ] ] This move has attracted strong criticism from environmental groups who are concerned that the 23 million cubic metres of sand, rock and contaminated silt dredged from the bay's shipping channels will affect fishing and tourism in the area. [ [ Counter-terrorism police seek meeting with bay activists - Climate Watch ] ] [ [ Stoush brewing over Port Phillip dredging plan - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) ] ]

Garrett approved a major expansion of South Australia's Beverley uranium mine on 28 August, 2008, saying the uranium mine would use world's best practice for environmental protection.cite news |first=Matthew |last=Franklin |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title=Uranium mine gets nod from Peter Garrett |url=,25197,24259286-5013871,00.html |publisher="The Australian" |date=2008-08-29 |accessdate=2008-08-29 ] Garrett's decision was praised by the uranium industry, but criticised by the Australian Conservation Foundation which said the decision would result in the mine spreading acid and radioactive pollution over 100 square kilometres.cite news |first=Cathy |last=Alexander |title=Garrett changes tune on uranium |url=,23599,24256845-29277,00.html |publisher="" |location= |date=2008-08-28 |accessdate=2008-08-29 ]

Personal life

Garrett is married and has three daughters, May, Grace and Emily. In 2007 the artist Michael Mucci entered a portrait of Garrett in the Archibald Prize.

ee also

* First Rudd Ministry

External links

* [ Garrett's maiden speech in the House of Representatives]
* [ Peter Garrett's personal webpage]
* [ OfficialPeterGarrett] @
* [ ALP clears runway for Garrett's next gig]
* [ Sedition bill a threat to arts]
* [ 2006 video interview by John Foreman on Channel 10's Big Night In] - discusses concluding Midnight Oil's career with the ARIA Hall of Fame induction and the ALP's policies
* [ How Peter Garrett lost his voice] Discusses Garrett's early years and family
* [ Midnight oil website]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Peter Garrett — im Wahlkampf 2004 Peter Robert Garrett, MP, (* 16. April 1953 in Sydney), ist ein australischer Musiker und Politiker. Nach einer erfolgreichen Karriere als Sänger der australischen Rockband Midnight Oil wurde er Mitglied der Australian Labor… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Peter Garrett — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Garrett. Peter Garrett Peter Garrett, né le 16 avril 1953 à Sydney, Australie, est un …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Peter Garret — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Peter Robert Garrett (16 de abril de 1953), es un músico, ecologista y político australiano; miembro de la Orden de Australia y Miembro del Parlamento. Ha sido miembro del Partido Laborista Australiano de La Cámara… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Garrett — bezeichnet: Garrett AiResearch, US amerikanischer Hersteller u.a. von Flugzeugturbinen Garrett (LKW), britischer Landmaschinen und Nutzfahrzeughersteller Garrett ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Abraham Ellison Garrett (1830–1907), US… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Peter Mahon (UK politician) — Peter Mahon (4 May 1909 ndash; 29 September 1980) was a British Labour Party politician.Peter Mahon was born into an Irish Roman Catholic family in Bootle that was immersed in Liverpool Labour politics. He joined the Labour Party in 1924, at the… …   Wikipedia

  • Peter Wells (guitarist) — Peter Wells or Pete Wells (circa 1948 – 27 March, 2006) is best known as the slide guitarist with Australian rock band Rose Tattoo. Wells first rose to prominence as bassist with the pioneering Sydney based heavy metal outfit Buffalo in the 1970… …   Wikipedia

  • Garrett — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Garrett est un nom de famille notamment porté par : Almeida Garrett (1799 1854), un auteur romantique portugais, romancier, dramaturge, poète, et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Garrett (name) — See also: lookfrom|Garrett Garrett is a masculine Irish, and Anglo Saxon first name, or surname meaning Lord of the spear , god of the spear or spear wielder .PopularityThe popularity of the name Garrett in the United States has risen sharply in… …   Wikipedia

  • Garrett — /ˈgærət/ (say garuht) noun Peter Robert, born 1953, Australian rock singer and political activist on behalf of environmental and nuclear disarmament issues; lead singer of the rock group Midnight Oil; became a Labor member of federal parliament… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Garrett Hedlund — durant le Comic Con en juillet 2010 Données clés Nom de naissance …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.