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"You can’t get a fair outcome from an unfair process. These negotiations have been like asking someone dying of thirst in the desert to bargain for their own glass of water. The Australian Government has taken full advantage of East Timor’s desperation. While East Timorese children are dying of preventable diseases, the Australian Government has been taking $1 million a day in contested oil and gas royalties,” Dan Nicholson, Spokesperson Timor Sea Justice Campaign, Melbourne


News Release ­ TIMOR SEA JUSTICE CAMPAIGN ­ News Release

For immediate release: 14 May 2005.

Home: http://www.TimorSeaJustice.org


EAST TIMOR SHORT CHANGED IN OIL DEAL



The Timor Sea Justice Campaign today accused the Australian Government of trying to force East Timor into another shabby deal that fell well short of East Timor’s legal entitlements, amid reports that in principal agreement had been reached at this week’s bilateral negotiations.


While the content of the deal has not been publicly released, reports indicate that Timor will accept a bigger share of the Greater Sunrise Field in exchange for shelving claims for a maritime boundary set in accordance with international law.


“This deal denies East Timor billions of dollars in government revenue to which it’s legally entitled,” said Dan Nicholson, of the Timor Sea Justice Campaign. “The Greater Sunrise field is twice as close to East Timor as it is to Australia. It should fall entirely within East Timor’s jurisdiction. The deal also ignores the $2 billion Australia has taken in disputed revenues since 1999.”


“You can’t get a fair outcome from an unfair process. These negotiations have been like asking someone dying of thirst in the desert to bargain for their own glass of water. The Australian Government has taken full advantage of East Timor’s desperation. While East Timorese children are dying of preventable diseases, the Australian Government has been taking $1 million a day in contested oil and gas royalties,” Mr Nicholson said.


The campaign also warned claims that a deal has been done might yet prove premature. “It’s not the first time Mr Downer and his posse have claimed that all is well and settled only to discover that the East Timorese side still had issues to resolve,” he said.


The Timor Sea Justice Campaign has worked with Australian businessman, Ian Melrose, to raise awareness of East Timor’s desperate situation through a high visibility advertising campaign involving WWII diggers who served in what has now become Asia’s poorest nation.


For further information please contact:

Chip Henriss-Anderssen,
Media officer, Timor Sea Justice Campaign, Melbourne
chip@timorseajustice.org
m: 0437 829 825

Or

Dan Nicholson,
Spokesperson Timor Sea Justice Campaign, Melbourne
dan@timorseajustice.org
m: 0409328289




By subscribing to the Melbourne Timor Sea Justice Campaign announcements list you will receive regular newsletters. These newsletters include press releases relating to the Timor Sea Talks.
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Email Australia's Prime Minister Howard - Tell the Australian Government to Stop Stealing East Timor's Resources and East Timor's Future - http://www.etan.org/action/fax/faxaus.htm


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