The Timor Gap agreement just signed has been presented by Australian politicians and much media as extemely generous to East Timor, (with) ‘concessions’ by Australia. The reality is it is only generous by East Timor to Australia. After all, by International Law, East Timor owns 100% of the resource.
East Timor gets 90% of the ROYALTIES for Bayu Undan, NOT 90% of the REVENUES as so many commentators have wrongly stated. Most of the revenues will go to the American oil companies and to Northern Territory business.
The evident bullying by Burke has left a sour taste. Judging from the fine efforts by the Army in East Timor, our finest get a lot more diplomacy and PR training than in his time.
The ordinary folk of East Timor get only small direct benefits so far from the UN presence, except for peace and its evident huge dividend. Plenty of support needs to go to helping them rebuild their lives until the Timor Sea monies start to flow.
There is still plenty to do. The world needs to find ways to allow home those East Timorese kidnapped to West Timor in September 1999, still held hostage there by Indonesian military Militias, in a preplanned program known in advance to the Australian government.
australians for a free east timor
5 AFP: Unseemly row breaks out before Timor Gap treaty signing
News added July 6
"The Economics Minister in East Timor’s interim administration, Mari Alkatiri, has threatened to boycott the signing ceremony if the Chief Minister of Australia’s Northern Territory, Denis Burke, attends. Alkatiri accused Burke of staging rival negotiations by inviting politicians from Timor’s embryonic parliament, the National Council, to attend talks that undermined the official Timor negotiating team." AFP
30 ABC Darwin: Denis Burke re: Timor Gas Interview with
comments from BACK DOOR added May 1
" ... frankly I believe Australia has to hold a very hard line in the region. I mean like it or not we have responsibilities in this region. Like it or not we have taken leadership and should continue to hold a strong leadership position in the region. And in that context we have to demonstrate firmness on issues such as sovereignty." Denis Burke, the Northern Territory (Australia) Government’s Chief Minister
BD: TIMOR OIL - A collection of recent reports, position statements, petitions, articles and news