One of the most popular bands to ever come out of Australia, Midnight Oil is known for their energetic protest songs. In Dreamworld, which was the last single to be released off of Diesel and Dust, Midnight Oil protested what they viewed as being the destruction of Queensland’s heritage under Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen.
Belke-Petersen, who served as premier from 1968 to 1987, remains a controversial figure in the history of Australia. He was viewed by many as being a corrupt authoritarian who held onto power by disenfranchising urban voters. At the same time, during the time that Belke-Petersen was premier, Queensland underwent significant economic development.
Unfortunately, much of that development involved demolishing many of Queensland’s best-known historical locales. Among those was the Cloudland Dance Hall, which had previously hosted Buddy Holly in 1985 and, years later, Midnight Oil themselves. The song, itself, was named after Queensland’s Dreamworld theme park, which can be spotted briefly in the song’s music video.