The “blue” in this song refers to blue asbestos. Specifically the Wittenoom asbestos mine in Western Australia where blue asbestos was mined between 1947 and 1966. It’s one of Australia’s greatest industrial disasters and it is estimated that 25% of the 20,000 men who mined there contracted asbestos related diseases.
It was a big hit for the Aussie politically charged band Midnight Oil who had a long and distinguished career, becoming known for not only their hard driving music but also for their political activism.
Lead singer Peter Garret became a member of the Australian parliament and was appointed as Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts.