Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] PG in the news

Rhonda kayak at sympatico.ca
Sat Jun 5 22:43:00 MDT 2004

Late night newspaper-perusing....  I'm not familiar with Aussie 
politics...what's your take on the possibility of PG running for Labor 
rather than the Greens?  They (Greens) appear to enjoy a much higher 
popularity rating in Oz than they do here in Canada, where an upcoming 
federal election was also recently announced....though here many people 
may just be unaware that they exist as an option.  Apparently the Green 
Party here was (is to be? - lost track of current status) excluded from 
the TV debate, based on the decisions of the media mogul powers-that-be.


 From the Sydney Morning Herald:

  Mark Latham's secret weapon

By Kerry-Anne Walsh, Political Correspondent
June 6, 2004

Peter Garrett is being touted as Labor's next celebrity federal MP and a 
possible replacing veteran Laurie Brereton in the NSW seat of Kingsford 

Senior Labor sources said yesterday that Mr Brereton's retirement, 
announced on Friday night to a branch council function, enabled the 
party to "recruit an outstanding star candidate to the federal team".

It is understood from senior right-wing sources that NSW Labor Party 
officers will meet tomorrow to determine the procedure for the preselection.

Local officials, however, have already signalled some opposition, 
putting out a statement demanding the right to elect a "local".

Furious factional brawls and intense branch stacking in the seat for the 
last year would, however, allow the party to bypass rank-and-file 
preselection and impose an outside candidate.

The party had been trying to open up a seat for the tall, intense rock 
star for close to a year, Labor sources said.

Recruiting Garrett, former frontman for rock group Midnight Oil and 
well-known conservationist, would be an important Labor coup designed to 
deliver party leader Mark Latham both youth and green votes.

Ever since he announced he wished to enter politics, he has been 
courted. He was expected to join the Greens party.

But a celebrity-studded list of other candidates could also try to 
jostle for the seat. Former high-profile AMA president Dr Kerryn Phelps 
has been in discussions with Labor officials for months about joining 
the Latham team. She declined to comment yesterday on the Kingsford 
Smith vacancy.

Another name put forward was legal expert Professor George Williams.

But the most likely outcome is that Garrett will be parachuted into the 
safe Labor seat.

President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, he could help shift 
some of the Greens' exploding support in NSW and nationally to Labor.

The environmental party barnstormed its way on to inner-Sydney city 
councils at the March local government elections and doubled its vote 
across NSW. Federally, it is polling as high as 20 per cent in some 

Garrett joining Labor could upset some of his mates.

Greens leader Bob Brown said yesterday: "I can't see Peter standing for 
a party that has sent the chainsaws into Tasmania's forests and has fed 
1080 poison to Tasmania's wildlife, including endangered species."

Like another, and eventually doomed, celebrity Labor recruit, Cheryl 
Kernot, Garrett would want to be more than just a backbencher if he 
joined the Labor team. Last month he warned that major political parties 
ignored the environment "at their own peril".

Garrett could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

His candidacy might finally put an end to any federal dreams of NSW 
Premier Bob Carr..