Midnight Oil performws at the Tank Arts Centre in Cairns last night, with all proceeds going to Great Barrier Reef Legacy and the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
Midnight Oil performws at the Tank Arts Centre in Cairns last night, with all proceeds going to Great Barrier Reef Legacy and the Australian Marine Conservation Society. Seanna Cronin

Midnight Oil rock Cairns with reef message

MIDNIGHT Oil have thrown their weight behind the plight of Australia's greatest natural wonder, The Great Barrier Reef, at a special benefit concert last night.

Playing to an intimate crowd at the Tank Arts Centre in Cairns, the band is donating all proceeds from the benefit show to Great Barrier Reef Legacy and the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

"It's one thing to talk about this stuff and it's another to do something," front man Peter Garrett said.

A 'coral not coal' banner hung prominently from the ceiling of the venue as concert-goers arrived, summing up the band's dual messages of reef conservation and strong opposition to Adani's proposed Carmichael coal mine.

 Admitting he's an 'ancient eucalypt' who remembers the original efforts to protect the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree rainforest, 64-year-old Garrett encouraged the concert-goers to attend today's anti-Adani protest in Port Douglas.

"This is the generation that's got to do the hard work," he said.

The seminal rock band is back on home soil for the final leg of The Great Circle World Tour, which continues in Cairns tonight.

Midnight Oil's Great Barrier Reef Benefit show at the Tank Arts Centre.
Midnight Oil's Great Barrier Reef Benefit show at the Tank Arts Centre. Seanna Cronin

Last night's Reef benefit show featured a specially curated mix of songs, some of them obscure even to Oils fans. Unlike their other Great Circle shows, there was no sign of Beds Are Burning or Power and the Passion.

Blue Sky Mine did make the cut, though, alongside Koala Sprint, Shakers and Movers, Sometimes, Dreamworld and set-closer Progress. 

"Some of you haven't heard some of these songs, and that's the point," Garrett said.

There were also references to Mr Abbott and Mrs Hanson, who want to 'pull our country back into the dark ages', and the need for more renewable power.

"Some of us have been talking about renewable energy for a long time," Garrett said.

"(It will create) lots of new jobs and it's not bad for anybody."

The Great Circle Tour continues at the Kuranda Amphitheatre tonight, the Townsville Entertainment Centre on Tuesday, The Great Western Hotel in Rockhampton on Thursday, the Big Pineapple Fields next Saturday and the Hockey Fields at Coffs Harbour on October 19.

Those attending the Sunshine Coast concert need to be aware there is no parking at the venue unless purchased in advance. Park and ride options are also available.


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