Midnight Oil set to retire
Australian rock band Midnight Oil effectively retired as passionate frontman Peter Garrett announced he had quit the band after 25 years.
In a brief statement on the band's website, Garrett said the decision came because he wanted to pursue other challenges, but gave no hint about what lay ahead.
"The last 25 years have been incredibly fulfilling for me, and I leave with the greatest respect for the whole of Midnight Oil," Garrett's statement said.
"The band has brought a lot of pleasure and meaning to people's lives, including my own. Who could ask for more?
"But it is time for me to move on and immerse myself in those things which are of deep concern to me and which I have been unable to fully apply myself to up to now."
Also in the statement, the band wished Garrett all the best, but reaffirmed their commitment to continue making music together "in another guise at some point down the track".
"We've had a unique relationship and special chemistry for many years, one too good to lose," remaining band members Rob Hirst, Jim Moginie, Martin Rotsey, Gary Morris and Bones Hillman said in the statement.
"We want to thank our families, all fans worldwide, our crew and the office team for their enormous support over the years.
"It's been a great ride together, many, many thanks."
Speculation is already rife that after feverishly supporting causes like indigenous rights and the environment through Midnight Oil's music, Garrett will carve out a career in politics.
He tried once before in the early 1980s, but was narrowly defeated in his bid for a senate seat on the Nuclear Disarmament Party's ticket.
Instead, he added his voice to causes like the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), of which he has had two stints as president.
Greens Senator Bob Brown said Garrett was a wonderful Australian with a lot more to give his country.
"Peter's a great and wonderful, warm-hearted Australian. I've had a long friendship with Peter and I really appreciate that," Senator Brown said.
"But everyone's been calling me about Peter except Peter."
When asked about Garrett's links with the Greens, Senator Brown said: "Peter's already in the fold as far as I'm concerned, you know these things aren't determined by whether you're a member of this or that."
ACF executive director Don Henry applauded Garrett's passion, integrity and commitment but said he wasn't sure where Garrett's resignation would lead him.
"It's up to Peter to consider his future and he'll cross any bridges he needs to cross when he thinks about that," Mr Henry told ABC radio.
Australian music guru Ian "Molly" Meldrum said the band's major quality was their music made Australians think.
"They were just a great rock and roll band and if you went to a concert, it was just so powerful to be there," he said.
Meldrum said it was possible Garrett's timing did have something to do with a potential move into politics.
Just thought some of you fellow oils fans would like to know!