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MIDNIGHT OIL SINGER TAKES ON ROLE AS AUSTRALIA'S ENVIRONMENTAL MINISTER

Former Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett has a new job. The "Beds Are Burning" singer is Australia's new environment minister. According to the Associated Press, one of Garrett's first assignments comes next month when he accompanies Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd to the next United Nations climate change meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

Government and political work is nothing new for Garrett, who was studying law when he founded Midnight Oil in 1973. He's since become an environmental campaigner and advocate for Aboriginal rights. His first foray into politics was in 1984 when he ran as a member of the Nuclear Disarmament Party. Garrett also served as head of the Australian Conservation Foundation in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He has also been on the international board of Greenpeace.

Midnight Oil broke up in 2002 so Garrett could focus on politics.

The 1989 track "Beds Are Burning" is a protest song about Aboriginal land rights in Australia.

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