Peter Garrett (search), the former lead singer of the disbanded Australian rock group Midnight Oil, has been touted to run in the next federal election.

Sunday newspapers gave front page coverage to the prospect of Garrett, a leading environmentalist and longtime political activist, becoming the highest profile candidate for the safe Labor Party (search) seat of Kingsford Smith in Sydney.

Garrett could not be contacted for comment Monday.

Labor leaders have welcomed the possibility of Garrett joining their team and bringing with him crucial environment-focussed voters.

"My view is that Peter Garrett would make a fantastic parliamentarian," Labor leader Mark Latham told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio. "He's dynamic, he's bright, he's an inspiring person. I would certainly welcome him to the Labor Party team in Canberra if he decided to run."

Garret's name was put forward after Labor stalwart Laurie Brereton announced last week he will retire at the next election after a 34-year political career, leaving a vacancy at Kingsford Smith.

But local Labor Party members have said they would prefer a local candidate rather than a high-profile outsider.

Prime Minister John Howard (search) has yet to announce an election date which could be as early as August 7.

Midnight Oil's protest song about Aboriginal land rights, "Beds Are Burning," (search) was a hit around the world and the band played it at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

In addition to his singing career, Garrett has served as president of the Australian Conservation Foundation. He also has served on the international board of environmental group Greenpeace.