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'Mainstream' media undervalues major Timor Sea resource

Dear Editor  The Australian,  27th April 2005

re article 'Australia boosts offer in boundary dispute' by Mark Dodd.

Please, Mark, get up to date, the 'Government Take' at stake from Greater Sunrise is at least US$40 bn, so where does this $9bn figure come from?

This is critical as Australia offering $4bn may sound like almost 50% of a field (which anyway is twice as close to Timor as to Australia), but is really only 10% of the reality.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer reiterated yesterday that his government believed East Timor owes it over Interfet - please people react to this immorality.  Australia is settling boundaries with NZ on the basis we want it to apply to East Timor our desperately poor immediate neighbour.

I hope these current talks fail in a big way in East Timor's future interests.

Rob Wesley-Smith

Spokesperson, Australians For a Free East Timor - Darwin (Northern Territory, Australia)

Co-convenor, Timor Sea Justice Coalition - Darwin (Northern Territory, Australia)

Phone: 61 8 89832113
Mobile: 0419 807175

See also:

26 Mar 2005 McKee: How much is Sunrise really worth?:
The True Value of a Timor Sea Gas Resource

Timor Sea Talks between Timor-Leste & Australia:
Dili, East Timor 26th 27th & 28th of April, 2005

Australia boosts offer in boundary dispute


E Timor hopes for break in oil talks
Mark Dodd
April 27, 2005

EAST Timor has expressed guarded optimism about a breakthrough in talks with Canberra on the dispute over revenue from the oil and gas in the Timor Sea.

Investment Minister Jose Teixiera told The Australian both sides had taken a more conciliatory stand at the negotiations, which resumed in Dili yesterday.

"Both countries are addressing issues. There are still a lot of details to be worked out but we feel confident with this spirit of co-operation," he said.

At stake is the future of the Greater Sunrise gas field, worth an estimated $9billion [BD note: This is incorrect. The actual worth is about US$40bn]. The revenue from the field could help East Timor - whose budget of $100million a year makes it Southeast Asia's poorest nation - to achieve a level of economic self-sufficiency.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer told ABC radio yesterday that Canberra remained opposed to any agreement to change the maritime boundary between the two countries.

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