Peter Garrett loving it in Noosa under a Big Blue Sky
FORMER Midnight Oil rock star, environmentalist and politician Peter Garrett has spoken of his fond memories of Noosa at the Sunshine Coast launch of his book Big Blue Sky.
The environmental activist, who used to sing about the impact of big corporations, dined at the Waterfront Restaurant.
Guests paid $55 a head to hear Garrett talk of his days in music and more recently in federal politics.
"I've had a big life and this is a big book,'' Garrett told an earlier launch.
"I called my book Big Blue Sky because I believe positively in our future and I reckon there is a lot of blue sky around us.
"And not withstanding my comments about leadership and the many other yarns in Big Blue Sky, I've got a fantastically enduring hope about our country.
"In the many things I've done whether it is about music, or activism, or politics I believe in Australia and Australians, and I hope that is something which people will take away from my memoir.
The books spans some 40 years of public life and includes "many, many stories in this book, and there are many reflections", Garrett said.
Garrett has defended his record as Environment Minister, including approval of controversial projects.
"I always tried to put strong conditions on any decisions I made as Environment Minister - and I made a whole heap of them under the Act in ways that other ministers haven't.
"But it was a really interesting illustration of the fact that when you arrive in government you inherit some of the things that the previous government had already put in place. And then you have to manage them as best as you can.
He has also defended his criticism of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who he described as being "an unpredictable megalomaniac who was "a threat to national security".
"I think it is important to read this book and understand the context in which I have made any comments about anything.
" If you read through you will see that I reflect on leadership at the time when Mr Rudd came back to lead the Labor Party for the second time.
"And it is that reflection that led me to the conclusion that I draw in the book. And I completely stand by it. There's enough on the public record for people to make a judgement about this matter. This is a story which includes my reflections about leadership."
"But it is not just about politics this book. It is about a whole lot of other things.
"For me, it has been a case of writing it as clearly and as openly as I can knowing that there are many Australians who maybe don't follow politics every day but who are kind of interested in what has happened through the course of my life."
"I have lived a rich and privileged life and the fact that I have been able to do so much is not only a reflection on me as a person, it is a reflection on the country that has enabled me to have these different careers and to participate at the highest levels of government.
"That is a great privilege for any person, whatever party they are in, whatever they bring into the parliament, that is a privilege, and I consider it to be such.
"I end by simply saying that if I look at the things that we got done as a government, and I was able to get done as a minister.
"Whether it was the first introduction of a carbon pollution tax to deal with climate change, whether it was the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Gonski reform on fair funding for schools, making sure that we had a world-class marine reserve system, rolling out solar panels right around the country, starting the NBN and getting that underway.
"These things were major, nation-changing reforms that the government I was a member of, was part of, and anyone would have been proud to have been in government at that time.
The two-course lunch and launch was hosted by Annie's Books on Peregian.