Peter Garrett takes aim at Prime Minister Scott Morrison during Midnight Oil concert

Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett has launched into an extraordinary spray at Scott Morrison, accusing him of ‘ignoring the climate crisis’ during a live concert.

The singer and former Federal Minister for the Environment spoke passionately to the crowd between songs during his show in Sydney on Thursday night. 

‘What is the problem about being clear an unambiguous about the fact we have a climate crisis?’ the 69-year-old asked the crowd, to a chorus of cheers.

‘Everybody knows [we have crisis], we’ve known it for years and years, that’s why I went into Parliament,’ he added.

‘And now we’ve got to do something about it.

‘What is the problem with owning up and taking a bit of responsibility for what goes on?’

Blood is boiling: Peter Garrett (pictured) took taken aim at Prime Minister Scott Morrison while onstage at his performance with Midnight Oil at Homebush, Sydney on Thursday night 

Garrett then focused on two of Mr Morrison’s perceived failings during his time as leader of the country. 

‘Whether it’s the bushfire[s] or the nursing homes, or whatever the hell.’ 

The PM was roundly criticised for going on a Hawaiian holiday during Australia’s bushfire crisis in 2020, and his government has been condemned by nursing organisations for failing to protect aged care residents and caregivers during the pandemic.

Garrett continued, ‘What is the problem with someone actually doing that, so if they can’t do it, they don’t deserve to be there?’ 

The speech was met with cheers from the crowd.

Garrett spent nine years in Parliament, between 2004 and 2013, as Minister for Kingsford Smith and a Labor front bencher.

Speaking up: The singer and former Federal Minister for the Environment spoke passionately between songs to a chorus of cheers

Speaking up: The singer and former Federal Minister for the Environment spoke passionately between songs to a chorus of cheers

The musician served as Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts between 2007 and 2010, under then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

He was not, however, responsible for overseeing Australia’s climate change response in that role.

After being re-elected in 2010, he served as Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth under Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Garrett did not contest the 2013 election, instead retiring from politics. 

The PM has faced a lot of critiscm this week after he said he was ‘blessed’ to not have a child with a disability.

Under fire: Garrett then focused on two of Morrison's (pictured this month) perceived failings during his time as leader of the country

Under fire: Garrett then focused on two of Morrison’s (pictured this month) perceived failings during his time as leader of the country

'What is the problem about being clear an unambiguous about the fact we have a climate crisis?' the 69-year-old asked the crowd, to a chorus of cheers

What is the problem about being clear an unambiguous about the fact we have a climate crisis?’ the 69-year-old asked the crowd, to a chorus of cheers

Mr Morrison made the comments – which have since been heavily criticised by Labor MPs and left wingers on Twitter – during the first election debate on Wednesday night.

The Prime Minister was asked about removing funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme by Katherine, a mother of autistic four-year-old boy Ethan, who said she’d heard stories about families losing funding under the scheme.

‘I have a four-year-old autistic son, we are grateful to receive funding under the NDIS. I have heard many stories from people having their funding cut under the current government, including my own,’ Katherine said during the debate.

‘I’ve been told that to give my son the best future, I should vote Labor. Can you tell me what the future of the NDIS looks like under your government?’

Mr Morrison replied: ‘Jenny and I have been blessed. We’ve got two children who haven’t had to go through that.

‘So parents of children who were disabled – I can only try and understand your aspirations for those children. And then I think that is the beauty of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Agenda: The musician served as Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts between 2007 and 2010, under then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (pictured left with Garrett in 2007)

Agenda: The musician served as Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts between 2007 and 2010, under then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (pictured left with Garrett in 2007)

During a press conference in Brisbane on Thursday, Mr Morrison was apologetic, saying he recognised his response to a question during the leaders’ debate last night ‘has caused offence to people’.

He also revealed he had called Australian of the Year, wheelchair athlete Dylan Alcott, to apologise after the star disabled athlete tweeted that ‘feeling sorry for us and our families doesn’t help’.

‘Treating us equally, and giving us the choice and control over our own lives does,’ Mr Alcott tweeted.

‘I think people would also appreciate that I had no such intention of suggesting anything other than every child is a blessing is true,’ Mr Morrison said.

‘Every single child is precious and every child is a blessing to every parent. I don’t think that’s in dispute and I don’t think anyone would seriously think that I had intent [to say] anything different to that.’

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