LAURIE BRERETON MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
MARTYN EVANS MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SCIENCE AND RESOURCES
* NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE *
1 August 2001
The news that Phillips Petroleum has indefinitely deferred the proposed Timor Sea gas pipeline is a blow to the economic prospects of East Timor and the Northern Territory.
The development of the gas pipeline has the potential for East Timor to derive significantly increased revenues from Timor Sea gas reserves. The Northern Territory would also benefit significantly from on-shore gas processing.
It is clear that the celebrations of Foreign Minister Downer, Industry Minister Minchin, and Northern Territory Chief Minister Dennis Burke earlier this month were premature.
It is a pity they were not as committed to settling the outstanding issues as they were to congratulating themselves for a job that was in fact unfinished.
What is required is a concerted effort by all the interested parties to resolve the outstanding fiscal and taxation issues and enable the pipeline project to proceed in a timely fashion.
Labor welcomed the conclusion of the Timor Sea Arrangement. The Agreement has the potential to afford East Timor the opportunity to achieve a much greater measure of economic self-reliance in place of aid dependency.
A future Labor Government will do everything we can to ensure the smooth implementation of the Agreement and the fullest possible development of the gas and petroleum resources of the Timor Sea to the benefit of both East Timor and the Northern Territory.
Petroleum and gas revenues from the Timor Gap will not begin to come on stream for several years, and strong Australian support for East Timor will be required for many years to come.
Labor is committed to work energetically with the international community to ensure that East Timor receives the necessary foreign aid to ensure immediate humanitarian and development challenges are fully addressed.
BD: TIMOR OIL - A collection of recent reports, position statements, petitions, articles and news