With Midnight Oil about to kick off the first local leg of the Great Circle 2017 world tour in Alice Springs next week, having already knocked off a quick 50-date jaunt across 16 countries, the band have announced a special extra gig for a great cause: an intimate benefit to help protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Kicking off in Cairns on Friday October 6, a limited number of tix are going on sale at 10am on Wednesday September 27, with a maximum of two per customer, and the show is also being filmed to run in various TV specials about the plight of the reef, which has undergone significant levels of bleaching in recent years.

All proceeds are going towards an organisation known as Great Barrier Reef Legacy, a “non-partisan scientific research” group that has Midnight Oil’s full support.

“The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most beautiful and intricate ecosystems”, drummer Rob Hirst says. “It’s also a magnet for tourists, and a major contributor to the local economy so the fact that it’s under threat from climate change and unsustainable development should concern all Australians. We believe we should support the work of scientists and listen to them when it comes to what we should do to protect this precious environment.”

“Midnight Oil have always used our music to talk about things we believe are important”, frontman Peter Garrett adss. “We believe the future of the Great Barrier Reef is clearly on the line. We’re at the eleventh hour for our most important natural asset. As the largest living organism in our world the reef is a treasure of extraordinary beauty itself but it’s also a symbol of greater questions we all have to answer.

“Some parts of the Reef are already being killed off by catastrophic climate change and other parts would be damaged by bad federal government policy that prioritises short term corporate profit above all else,” he continues. “So we’re looking forward to getting together with our friends in Cairns and all doing our bit to share some information, provoke more conversation and make change while there’s still time.”

Midnight Oil have of course played their share of activist gigs in the past, and most recently played a “guerilla” set aboard the Greenpeace vessel the Rainbow Warrior to raise awareness of the impact mining is having on the reefs of the Amazon River, also supporting the group in their recent legal battles in Canada.

22 other dates are locked in for The Great Circle 2017 tour, and while most are sold out, some tickets can still be picked up here – and the band are urging fans not to encourage scalping by purchasing tickets from unauthorised ticket resellers.