Aussie rocker's new gig: politician

Peter Garrett, the tall, bald-headed former singer is charged with practicing politics - as Australia's new environment minister.

PETER GARRETT 88 224 (photo credit:)
PETER GARRETT 88 224
(photo credit: )
The music of Peter Garrett has always been politically charged. Now the towering, bald-headed former singer of Midnight Oil is charged with practicing politics - as Australia's new environment minister. Garrett founded the band when he was a law student in 1973, but the semi-punk group did not achieve global fame until its 1987 track "Beds are Burning," a protest song about Aboriginal land rights in Australia. With his wild dancing and strident voice, Garrett became one of Australia's most recognizable singers until the band broke up in 2002. A longtime environmental campaigner and advocate for Aboriginal rights, Garrett made his first foray into politics with an unsuccessful bid for the Senate as a member of the Nuclear Disarmament Party in 1984. The 6-foot, 6-inch singer disbanded Midnight Oil in 2002 to focus on his political career. Late last month, Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd appointed Garrett to be the environment minister in his new Cabinet, but appointed a second minister, Sen. Penny Wong, to take responsibility for climate change.