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Iconic Australian band Midnight Oil have released a tribute to the threatened takayna/Tarkine forest in Tasmania.



The track Tarkine is off their forthcoming album Resist. Their tour of the same name – Midnight Oil’s final tour after almost 50 years together – begins in Tasmania next month.


A post on the band’s website explains the significance of the area to them. “The takayna/Tarkine wilderness in north-western Tasmania contains Australia’s largest temperate rainforest, a trove of Aboriginal sites featured on the National Heritage list, rich habitats for local wildlife such as the Tasmanian Devil, and the cleanest air in the world, according to UN monitoring. This new Oils song celebrates the unique rapture of a wilderness experience. The work takes on extra poignancy given current plans to expand a nearby mine with a tailings dam that would impinge on this pristine area.”


"The wild, ancient and threatened takayna/Tarkine has just been immortalised by one of Australia's greatest bands,” said Jenny Weber, campaign manager for the Bob Brown Foundation, who after decades continue the fight to save the Tarkine. "Midnight Oil has captured the urgency the Tarkine faces from logging and mining. We will continue to resist the destruction of one of the last wild places on Earth, knowing that Midnight Oil has just given that place, its ancient rainforests and all the wildlife a new international platform."



"The wild, ancient and threatened takayna/Tarkine has just been immortalised by one of Australia's greatest bands” – Jenny Weber



The track had its genesis in an environmental art collaboration between Launceston artist Darryl Rogers, and Oil’s guitarist Jim Moginie called Tarkine in Motion. The Oils have previously released two tracks featuring Tasmanian subjects. In 1981 their track Burnie told the story of the titanium dioxide pollution in the Tasmanian town of the same name, and their 1993 track, Truganini eulogised the woman regarded by colonists to be as the last full blood Tasmanian Aborigine.


Midnight Oil have also called for World Heritage protection of the Tarkine and urged the Federal and State Governments to preserve this extraordinary part of Australia for future generations. A petition calling for the Tarkine to be World Heritage listed was presented to the federal Senate back in 2018 with 270,000 signatures. It was the largest petition ever tabled in the Senate and is still active today, with over 350,000 signatures. You can add yours’ here.


In 2018, Patagonia released the film Takayna, exploring the threats facing this vast and ancient Tasmanian wilderness. Midnight Oil also supplied the opening track – Outside World – to Patagonia’s surf/conservation film, Never Town.



There's a red bridge in the mountains
Where Tarkine trees touch multi-coloured skies
They cast shadows on the painted ground
And to get there, well, I just close my eyes

Well I lost myself when I walked through you
All that I have now
Is a souvenir of you

There's a lexicon of forest giants
Coachwood, Myrtle, Blackwood and Turpentine
In this hi-viz world I must have missed the turn
Because all I found were billboards, flyers and merchandise

Well I lost myself when I fell for you
I can't remember
But the love is so true
Well I lost myself when I walked through you
All that I have now
Is a souvenir of you


Image Banner: The ancient takanya forests face continuing threats from the modern world. Photo Tim Cooper

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