Ex-Midnight Oil singer Peter Garrett’s political career hasn’t exactly been going great lately, and things went from bad to worse today when Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd demoted the former rocker over a “bungled home-insulation scheme,” according to Reuters.
Garrett — who was elected to Australia’s Parliament in 2004 and appointed Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts in 2007 — was today stripped of responsibility for energy efficiency. According to Reuters, Garrett has been under fire because “his program to deliver free home insulation left more than 1,000 houses with unsafe roofs and was blamed for 93 fires and four deaths.”
Rudd today said, “There is no point sugar coating this. This does mean a different range and reduced range of responsibilities for Minister Garrett.” Garrett responded, in a statement, saying, “I welcome the opportunity to continue my work in the Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts portfolio, focusing on key interests and passions of mine.”
Garrett quit Midnight Oil in 2002 and has since performed with the band only a handful of times at charity events, most recently last year for the Sound Relief brushfire concerts. Three of his former bandmates — drummer Rob Hirst and guitarists Jim Moginie and Martin Rotsey — recently joined ex-Violent Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie to form The Break, a mostly instrumental surf-rock combo whose debut is due this spring.
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS:
- Midnight Oil, Violent Femmes members form surf-rock band The Break
- Midnight Oil’s ‘Beds are Burning’ re-recorded as all-star climate-change anthem
- Peter Garrett rejoins Midnight Oil for Australian bushfire benefit
- Midnight Oil reunites for Australian bushfire benefit, warm-up gigs