Peter Garrett on music, values and politics

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After hanging up his boots as singer for legendary Australian rockers Midnight Oil, it came as no surprise to many that Peter Garrett moved into politics.

Still, few would have expected Garrett’s much anticipated keynote speech at Brisbane’s Big Sound music industry conference to focus so heavily on his political career.

Garrett detailed his frustration surrounding the conflict of interest he faced as politician and musician, and noted that Australian commercial radio content continues to be dominated by the US, thanks to free trade agreements. However, Garrett claimed that he personally removed himself from these cabinet discussions, which was only ‘proper, because (his) own interests were entwined in the discussion’

While the power may have been absent during Garrett’s time in office, the passion was on display during the address, with Garrett arguing that music at the centre of national life would accelerate Australia’s transformation from a polluting, “planet destroying” society to a “planet friendly”. And we certainly agree that that music should be at the heart of schools and local council.

You can find a full report on his Big Sound address here.

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