Clive Palmer hits out at Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett in election campaign speech

Garrett called the United Australia Party chairman a “turkey” at one of the Oils’ recent gigs

During a speech given to launch his campaign for the upcoming federal election, controversial businessman and politician Clive Palmer – who currently leads the United Australia Party – took aim at Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett.

Garrett, who’s long been critical of Palmer’s ethics and conduct, referenced the UAP leader at the Oils’ April 10 gig on the Sunshine Coast; though he stopped short of mentioning Palmer by name, Garrett did allude to several of his recent public gaffs – including reports that Palmer owed employees at a metal refinery $70million in unpaid wages – and the UAP’s infamous yellow billboards.

Dedicating one of the Oils’ songs to Palmer (who Garrett labelled a “turkey”), the frontman said: “If you think you can actually change the direction of the country with people who are not fit to hold public office – after stuffing up the Coolum resort, and not paying workers in Townsville, and spraying billboards… I mean, you’ve seen fat boy up close, you know what a total wank this is!


“People rattle on on talkback radio about [being] un-Australian – well let me tell you, that big giant heap of nothing is the most un-Australian thing I have ever seen.”

Midnight Oil lead singer and former politician Peter Garrett voiced his controversial thoughts on Clive Palmer at the band's show at the Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday night.🗣️🎙️Watch the video👇 and see the story here:

Posted by Sunshine Coast Daily on Sunday, April 10, 2022

Appearing in the Queensland town of Coolum last Friday (April 15), Palmer responded to Garrett’s comments by flaunting his wealth and insinuating that Garrett “must be under pressure in his marriage”. 

According to the Courier Mail, he said: “I think Peter is a very intellectual guy, [but] if he thinks I’m a big heap of nothing, he can read The Australian that says I’ve got about $18.5 billion, which is a lot more than he’s made in his life from singing songs and whistling.

“I like Peter Garrett, I buy his songs and I sing to his music, I think he’s a nice guy – but I never insult him by saying something like that about him, so he must be under pressure in his marriage, or something like that must’ve gone wrong to make him so angry.”

Palmer’s new beef with Garrett isn’t the first time the politician has found himself in music-related controversy. Last April, he was ordered to pay $1.5million in damages after losing a years-long legal battle with Twisted Sister. Palmer was sued by Universal Music back in 2019, after he used a rewritten version of Twisted Sister’s ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ in the UAP’s ad campaigns. 


Snider had consistently denounced Palmer and his usage of the song, saying that the association with Palmer was bad for his “heavy metal image.”

Meanwhile, Midnight Oil recently honoured the late Chris Bailey (of Australian punk legends The Saints) during their show at the Riverstage in Brisbane, following Bailey’s death earlier this month.

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