Following requests from our partners and human rights organisations in East Timor (now officially called Timor-Leste), Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA, along with Australian unions, churches and development agencies, supports campaigning on the issue of East Timor’s just share of the oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea.
The next round of talks is scheduled for the end of April 2005 in Dili. The Australian government has offered East Timor $3-4 billion as a one-time compensation for control of the oil fields, yet it is estimated that if oil was merely $40 USD a barrel, Australia could be depriving East Timor of up to $30 billion of royalties that are rightfully theirs over the next 20 years. In an impoverished country just three years old, East Timor's right to control its own natural resources is critical to the health and development of the nation. Union Aid Abroad supports the Timor Sea Justice Campaign in demanding that Australia:
· Stop unilaterally exploiting contested gas and oil resources in the Timor Sea.
· Place disputed revenues taken by the Australian Government into a trust fund to be distributed accordingly once a permanent agreement has been reached.
· Immediately negotiate in good faith a permanent maritime boundary in accordance with current International Law.
· Re-recognize the authority of
the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal on
the Law of the Sea to settle the dispute by independent arbitration if
For background information on this issue
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For more information on the Timor Sea Justice Campaign see www.timorseajustice.org.