Australian aid agencies today congratulated the Foreign Minister Alexander Downer for signing the new 30 year treaty giving East Timor 90% of royalties from the Timor Sea oil reserves.
“This treaty gives the East Timorese an important independent revenue source for about ten years as they work toward self-reliance,” stated Mr Jim Redden, spokesperson for the Australian Council for Overseas Aid.
“Australian aid agencies have been concerned about the huge development task facing the East Timorese in their initial years of independence. An over-reliance on foreign aid and loans can all to often lead to a developing country becoming trapped in the debt – poverty cycle, whereby the government ends up spending more on interest repayments than on schools, health and jobs.”
“The Australian community has been very generous in their support of the people of East Timor giving over $10 million in the last two years in support of the vital humanitarian work of Australian aid organisations. The Government and Mr Downer have correctly interpreted the mood of the electorate by ensuring a positive outcome for the East Timorese through this new treaty as well as through the ongoing commitment of Australian government aid.”
“However it will still be approximately two years before the revenue from the oil reserves begins to flow and overseas aid agencies still need donations from the Australian community now to help the people of East Timor rebuild their lives and their country. They will go to the polls to elect their first government on 30 August, 2001” said Mr Redden.
For more information call
ACFOA Policy Director, Jim Redden on
02 6285 1816 or on mobile 0414 257 446
Council for Overseas Aid Up-dated May 16
ACFOA is the peak body of the Australian Aid and Development Non-Government Organisations (NGOs). It provides membership services, eg. training, and it develops policy and advocacy related to development issues. Members adhere to a Code of Conduct [68k]. ACFOA has various working groups who are part of its policy/advocacy activities. The East Timor Working Group meets now every two months to share information on East Timor, build up strategies to campaign and lobby governments in matters such as the refugees in West Timor, to liaise with AusAID, the ET NGO Forum [101k](a similar organisation to ACFOA in East Timor), etc.
Email: email@example.com Homepage: http://www.acfoa.asn.au ETimor Webpage: http://www.acfoa.asn.au/advocacy_&_policy/East_Timor/east_timor.htm
BD: TIMOR OIL - A collection of recent reports, position statements, petitions, articles and news
10 2000 ACFOA Position Paper: Negotiations of the Timor Gap Zone
"The present report discusses the legitimacy of the East Timorese claims in the current negotiations of the Timor Gap Treaty. For these purposes it clarifies the nature of the Timor Gap Treaty through an analysis of the context in which it was created and its current status. In addition, this report highlights the importance of Australia adopting a generous approach to the Timor Gap Treaty so that we contribute to the medium and long term economic development of East Timor and lessen its dependency on foreign aid. Finally, the report makes several recommendations to the Australian Government which are consistent with the support Australia has given to the East Timorese people." Australian Council for Overseas Aid