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BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

The TIMOR OIL Archive - prior to Jan 2002
Mina iha Timor Gap
O Petróleo do Mar de Timor
Le pétrole de la Mer de Timor:


For the most recent Timor oil collection go to:
http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/timorgap.htm



This Archive last updated: Jan 22, 2002

A new Timor Gap Treaty was signed on July 5, 2001.

For more info on the Treaty see these sections below: Position statements, Articles and News


Contents:
Call for "Timor Gap Watch"
Reports
Position statements
Articles
News


Call for "Timor Gap Watch":

Bahasa Indonesia/Malay:
Feb 3 STL: Uskup Belo meminta pendirian “Timor Gap Watch”
Berita ditambahkan tanggal 22 Januari, 2002
"Agar supaya honorarium pasti digunakan hanya untuk bangsa, Uskup Belo meminta pendirian badan independen yang bisa mengawasi setiap liter minyak dari Timor Gap dan cara honorarium dihasilkan dari minyak itu. Juga cara honorarium itu digunakan akan diawasi dengan teliti. Badan independen itu bisa didirikan oleh pemerintah baru, kata Uskup Belo. Tetapi, Uskup Belo memperingatkan bahwa komposisi badan itu harus memasukkan orang yang bisa dipercayai dari sektor swasta, organisasi sosial dan gereja. Dia menekankan bahwa badan itu harus merupakan badan nasional." Suara Timor Lorosae

Tetum:
Fev 3 STL: Bispo Carlos Ximenes Belo husu atu bele harii “Timor Gap Watch”  News from ETimor added July 6
“Ha’u ladun fiar uituan ho liafuan sira nebe hateten katak ita sei sai nasaun nebe riku tanba mina, ... Ita sei sai nasaun nebe riku wainhira honorarium (royalties) ne’e uza atu dezenvolve nasaun, la’os atu koruptor sira mak gasta. ... Wainhira iha badan nebe kontrola (watch-dog), ha’u fiar katak Timor Loro Sa’e sei sai nasaun nebe riku, ... Maibe se laiha ita sei bele sai hanesa nasaun balun iha Afrika nebe taxa ba mina nian uza fali atu hariku na’ok-teen sira, la’os povu.” Bispo Carlos Ximenes Belo

Feb 3 STL: Bishop Belo Calls For Timor Gap Watch  News from ETimor updated Feb 9
"In order to ensure that the royalties [from Timor Gap] are used only for the country [ETimor], Bishop Belo called for the setting up of an independent body [Timor Gap Watch] that will monitor every liter of oil from the Timor Gap and the way royalties are generated from it. Also the manner in which the royalties are spent will be closely monitored." Suara Timor Lorosae


Reports:

December UNTAET: Timor Sea (Fact Sheet 18)  Info added Dec 31
"Much progress has been made in recent talks between East Timor and representatives of petroleum companies on outstanding issues. East Timor believes that a successful outcome in this regard can be achieved soon. The Second Transitional Government of East Timor, sworn in on 20 September, has indicated its willingness to ensure that East Timor’s tax regime provides oil companies with a fair rate of return. The Government has stressed the great importance to East Timor of gas development in the Timor Sea as a major source of future revenues." Catherine McKenna & Jonathan Morrow, UNTAET Press Office

Dec 15 IPRD: Indonesia, ETimor & The Western Powers: A Case Study  Research paper added Dec 18
"II.VI Diplomatic and Financial Perpetuation of the Conflict: ... Events a year after the invasion of East Timor provide ample explanation for this admiration for the Indonesian military regime and its policies of genocide and ethnic cleansing. Negotiations began between an Australian company and Indonesia on extracting the vast oil resources on both the island itself and in the Timor Gap, the seabed between Timor and Australia which is just of the coast of East Timor. By December 1989, the negotiations were finally settled with a joint agreement to exploit the Timor Sea, the Timor Gap Treaty, involving Australian, British and U.S. companies, among others. A month after the Dili massacre, the Australian government alone approved with Indonesia eleven oil production contracts for exploitation of a jointly controlled area of the sea. As Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans put it, the gains to be made from East Timor under the Timor Gap Treaty in terms of oil amounted to “zillions of dollars”. " Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development and a Researcher at the Islamic Human Rights Commission

Portuguese:
Jan 12 OTL: O petróleo do Mar de Timor e as relações Timor Leste-Austrália
"A História recente da atitude do Governo australiano revela que o petróleo do Mar de Timor foi colocado acima de qualquer outra consideração nas relações com os países vizinhos. A Austrália poderia beneficiar mais dum desenvolvimento harmonioso da região, tentando chamar a si os investimentos pelos quais está melhor preparada que os seus vizinhos." Observatório Timor Leste

Jan 12 ETO: Timor Sea Oil and East Timor-Australia relations
"The Australian Government's recent record shows that it has been putting Timor Sea resources above any other consideration in its dealings with neighbouring countries. However, Australia stands to benefit far more from harmonious development within the region that will attract investment, for which Australia is better prepared than its neighbours." East Timor Observatory

French:
jan 12 OTO: Le pétrole de la Mer de Timor et les relations Timor Oriental-Australie
"L’histoire récente de l’attitude des gouvernements australiens révèle que le pétrole de la Mer de Timor a été placé au-dessus de toute autre considération dans les relations avec les pays voisins. L’Australie pourrait bénéficier davantage d’un développement plus harmonieux dans la région, et essayer d’attirer des investissements pour lesquels elle est mieux préparée que ses voisins." Observatoire Timor-Oriental

Dec 10 2000 ACFOA Position Paper: Negotiations of the Timor Gap Zone of Cooperation
"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


Position Statements:

Jan 21 affet: Selling E.Timor Short: Timor Sea gas project decision postponed  Statement added Jan 22
"Timor Lorosae may be fortunate that the Oil companies have not yet determined their favoured options for processing Oil and Gas from the Timor Sea areas. ... Although negotiations by East Timor authorities have been cloaked in a great deal of secrecy,  at some point it appears to have been agreed that East Timor’s claim on Greater Sunrise would be accepted as 20%. How could this decision be reached when there has been no declaration of Maritime Boundaries for East Timor? This determination [of Maritime Boundaries] should be made under international law, with East Timor fighting for its rights, not conceding before the battle plan has been even considered." Rob Wesley-Smith, australians for a free east timor, darwin

Sep 7 RDP: New ETimorese gov't sets anti-poverty fight as main objective  Interview added Sep 10
"I usually say that we were lucky because we have oil, but we are also lucky not to be receiving the profits of its exploration yet, because if we were, if we were presently in possession of these profits, our economy would still not be sufficiently prepared to absorb these profits appropriately, nor would be appropriately enabled to manage these profits. Therefore, we would risk seeing these profits being placed in private accounts abroad." Mari Alkatiri, secretary general of the winning party Fretilin Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor

August 2001 LHB: Phillips Petroleum and Canberra Play an Old Game  Editorial added Aug 25
“In October 1999, while Dili was still in smoldering ruins, East Timorese leaders indicated to the companies that they welcomed their continued investment in the Timor Sea. At the time, the leaders were not aware of the unfair investment incentives, which lay hidden in company contracts. ... it is ludicrous now to assert that East Timor is obliged to give the companies the benefit of the same unfair fiscal incentives that were offered to them by the Indonesians and Australians ... offered to attract companies to invest in a territory which belonged neither to Indonesia nor Australia.” former Political Affairs minister, Peter Galbraith
"There is too much money involved in the Timor Gap for Phillips Petroleum and its allies to not stay involved. The question is, under what conditions will they be involved? As the past conduct of Phillips and its allies in aiding Indonesia’s subjugation of East Timor demonstrates, they are not defending any principle; they are simply trying to ensure high profits. The East Timorese leadership is correct to insist upon a set of tax policies that is significantly more favourable to East Timor." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Italian:
Aug 29 FRETILIN Italia: Coordinamento italiano di solidarieta’ con il Popolo Timorese  Letter added Aug 31
"[Mari Alkatiri] E’ l’unico sopravissuto dei fondatori del movimento ad essere rimasto fedelmente al suo posto e gode della stima e dell’ affetto dei migliori quadri del partito. Nonostante costretto dall’invasione a vivere nella diaspora e’ riuscito in poco tempo a consolidare la sua posizione dentro il paese sebbene mussulmano e yemenita d’origine. E’ un uomo molto orgoglioso, puntiglioso e metodico. Quest’ultima qualita’ lo aiutera’ molto a Timor Est. Un assaggio delle sue capacita’ lo hanno avuto i negoziatori australiani in questi mesi che hanno preceduto l’ ultimo accordo sul petrolio timorese secondo il quale il solo 10% spetta al Governo di Camberra. Certo si tratta di un primo successo e che altre insidie dovranno essere superate ma grazie a lui lasciateci godere questa soddisfazione." Davide Corona, FRETILIN ITALIA

Aug 16 abc/affet: Timor Sea Gas Project Impasse  Transcript & comment added Aug 17
"Alan Kohler (abc): Jim Godlove’s message is simple—go back to the 1999 letter. Jim Godlove, Phillips Petroleum: We’ve had a commitment to this project, a steady commitment, for the past five years. We want to be successful. But obviously at this point in time we are experiencing some difficulties, difficulties that we believe were fully avoidable, and difficulties that can be overcome, so long as the previous commitments are honoured." ABC ‘7.30 report’ television program
"Australians for a Free East Timor position is that Phillips and the Australian government should recognise that the October [1999] letter was signed [by Xanana, Horta and Alkatiri] under pressure if not duress, in circumstances which were unreal, the country destroyed, and the signatories had not been provided with those details about which the issue now turns, apparently. In a court of law, that signing would not stand up. ... " Rob Wesley-Smith, affet

Aug 6 UN: Oil company's complaints over Timor Gap fiscal terms not accurate, UN says  Info added Aug 10
"Responding to recent complaints by Australian officials and oil company representatives over a change in incentives offered for petroleum exploration in the Timor Gap, senior United Nations and East Timorese officials have said the criticisms were “neither balanced nor accurate.” " UN Department of Public Information (DPI)

Aug 1 Brereton & Evans: Phillips Petroleum Defers Timor Sea Gas Pipeline  Release added Aug 1
The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Laurie Brereton, and the Shadow Minister for Science and Resources, Martyn Evans, [Australia] today expressed regret at the decision of Phillips Petroleum and its Bayu-Undan project co-venturers to indefinitely the development of the proposed Timor Sea gas pipeline to Darwin. The news that Phillips Petroleum has indefinitely deferred the proposed Timor Sea gas pipeline is a blow to the economic prospects of East Timor and the Northern Territory."

Jul 11 GLW: Who gains most from New Timor gap treaty?  Editorial added July 13
"The corporate media have started a new scare campaign over the prospect that East Timor's new constituent assembly, due to be elected in August, may seek changes before ratifying the treaty or impose at some future date a higher fiscal regime upon companies operating in the Timor Sea. If a future East Timorese government chooses to make such changes, this is an entirely justifiable and reasonable action to take." Green Left Weekly Editorial

Jul 5 AID/WATCH: The World Bank in East Timor  Briefing added July 14
"Timor Gap Treaty Issues Not Yet Out in the Open:
Most attention has focussed on the seabed boundary line between Australia and East Timor. Yet other issues may be relevant to the negotiations. For example, the Treaty relies on a share of oil and gas after the company has recovered its costs. But how are costs calculated and accounted for? Perhaps the companies should also be paying greater royalities to East Timor, if their accounting practices were properly scrutinised. After ten years of operations, such issues should be reviewed. But we don't yet know the answers because the negotiations have so far been kept secret. For these and other reasons, Aidwatch has called on the Australian Government to make public the details of its Timor Gap Treaty negotiations with East Timor. The Australian public is entitled to assure itself the East Timorese are getting a fair deal from both the Australian Government and the oil companies." Tim Anderson for Aidwatch

Jul 5 SMH: The Timor Gap  Editorial added July 7
"The Prime Minister, Mr Howard, says it is “generous”. The Northern Territory Chief Minister, Mr Burke, calls it “extremely generous”. The assumption is easily made that Australia has given something away ... It is wrong, however, to assume Australia has neglected its interests. ... Even under the final revenue sharing formula Australia stands to gain greatly. The 90:10 split applies only to the JPDA; an 80:20 split applies to the Greater Sunrise field. Apart from about $1 billion in direct revenue over the next 20 years - compared with East Timor’s expectation of more than $7 billion - Australia will benefit substantially from the agreement’s provision for a pipeline to Darwin." Sydney Morning Herald

July 4 Brereton Press Release On Timor Gap Agreement Release added July 5
“This is a very welcome development which will afford East Timor the opportunity to achieve a much greater measure of economic self-reliance in place of aid dependency, ... In the meantime, we are committed to work energetically with the international community to ensure that East Timor receives the necessary foreign aid to ensure immediate humanitarian and development challenges are fully addressed. ... Petroleum and gas revenues from the Timor Gap will not begin to come on stream for several years, and strong Australian support for East Timor will be required for many years to come.” Laurie Brereton MP, Shadow Minister For Foreign Affairs, Australia

Jul 4 ACFOA: Well Done Downer On Timor Oil Treaty  Release added July 4
“This treaty gives the East Timorese an important independent revenue source for about ten years as they work toward self-reliance, ... 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.” Jim Redden, spokesperson for the Australian Council for Overseas Aid

Jul 3 UN: Timor Sea arrangement approved by East Timor cabinet  Release added July 5
“This is the very first time the United Nations has participated in negotiating a treaty on behalf of a country. It will be up to the new elected Government of East Timor to decide whether it wants the treaty or not. I believe it is a good treaty, I think it is to the advantage of East Timor and so my recommendation would be that East Timor agree its terms,” Peter Galbraith, Cabinet Member for Political Affairs and Timor Sea

July 3 AUSGOV: Agreement on Timor Gap  Release added July 5
"The key elements of the Arrangement are: a revenue split of 90 per cent for East Timor and 10 per cent for Australia from petroleum development activities in the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA); deferral of delimitation of a permanent seabed boundary without prejudice to Australia’s and East Timor’s rights or entitlements; maintenance of the contractual terms of the existing petroleum/gas projects (Bayu-Undan, Greater Sunrise and Elang-Kakatua); Australian jurisdiction over the planned pipeline from the JPDA to Australia; unitisation of the Greater Sunrise field (which straddles the JPDA and an area under Australian jurisdiction) on the basis that 20 percent of the field lies within the JPDA and 80 percent of the field lies within Australian jurisdiction; and the new treaty will have a duration of 30 years." Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer; The Minister for Industry, Science and Resources Senator Minchin; the Attorney-General Daryl Williams

May 20 FRETILIN: Electoral Commitment 2001  Position statement added July 5
"Oil and natural gas are non-renewable sources of energy and revenue. The Administration will set a policy on the Timor Sea oil and gas exploration as well as on-shore exploration and will adopt a modern Code to ensure State control over that wealth and resources in order to maximise revenue and income. The Administration will define a strict framework to regulate the allocation of such revenues to be re-invested in the development of sectors such as fisheries, tourism, agriculture, infrastructure, communications, education, health, transport systems, development of alternative energy sources, etc." FRETILIN: Frente Revolucionária Do Timor-Leste Independente

May 14 SC: Petroleum Related Education, Training And Employment For East Timorese  Release added June 9
"The Steering Committee ...  is pleased to announce that its Member Organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop programs designed to enable East Timorese people to compete effectively for employment in the oil and gas industry and related East Timor Government administration." Dr Mari Alkatiri, Chair of the Steering Committee

Apr 9-11 APPEA: Galbraith: Timor Sea Petroleum  keynote conference address added May 5
"I am here today with Dr. Mari Alkatiri, East Timor’s Minister for Economic Affairs and therefore my colleague in Cabinet, to bring you a simple message: the period of instability and uncertainty in East Timor is over. East Timor’s future status is settled: when the UN Administration ends, East Timor will be the 21st century’s first new state. ... Although completely devastated by 24 years of brutal occupation, and the graceless, destructive and murderous exit of the Indonesian authorities in September 1999, East Timor is well on its way to establishing stable democratic institutions and sensible pro-market economic policies. ... By achieving independence so late, East Timor has had the chance to study the experience of other developing and developed countries as they develop their oil and gas industries. East Timor has seen the mistakes others have made and is determined to avoid them. East Timor understands that oil and gas investments are made for thirty years. Investors require stability and certainty with regard to government policies. ... On behalf of the East Timor Cabinet and legislature, I am here to underline our intention to develop and implement a transparent, stable fiscal and regulatory regime that will be amongst the most modern in the world, and which will enable both the companies and the East Timorese to profit from our resource. ...
Both East Timor and Australia, and in particular its Northern Territory, have a lot to gain by concluding a Treaty to facilitate the development of the vast oil and gas resources of the Timor Sea.  Like any negotiation, this requires compromises. East Timor recognises that resolving the issue of sovereignty in the Timor Sea – making a seabed delimitation -- is difficult for Australia, and certainly will be very time consuming. East Timor is therefore prepared to enter an interim agreement provided it has the same -or nearly the same- economic benefits as if there were an actual maritime delimitation done in accordance with international law. ... Neither Mari Alkatiri nor I can bring back East Timor a treaty that would give East Timor less economic benefit than that which it is entitled under international law. ...
In summary, we see a great opportunity for East Timor and Australia in the Timor Sea. With East Timor the petroleum industry has a partner that promises a reliable, stable, and exploitation-friendly future. The uncertainty about East Timor’s future is over and we promise a regulatory regime that is transparent, straightforward, and honest."
Ambassador Peter Galbraith, Cabinet Member for Political Affairs and Timor Sea, East Timor Transitional Government

Tetum:
Fev 3 STL: Bispo Carlos Ximenes Belo husu atu bele harii “Timor Gap Watch”  News from ETimor added July 6
“Ha’u ladun fiar uituan ho liafuan sira nebe hateten katak ita sei sai nasaun nebe riku tanba mina, ... Ita sei sai nasaun nebe riku wainhira honorarium (royalties) ne’e uza atu dezenvolve nasaun, la’os atu koruptor sira mak gasta. ... Wainhira iha badan nebe kontrola (watch-dog), ha’u fiar katak Timor Loro Sa’e sei sai nasaun nebe riku, ... Maibe se laiha ita sei bele sai hanesa nasaun balun iha Afrika nebe taxa ba mina nian uza fali atu hariku na’ok-teen sira, la’os povu.” Bispo Carlos Ximenes Belo

Feb 3 STL: Bishop Belo Calls For Timor Gap Watch  News from ETimor updated Feb 9
"In order to ensure that the royalties [from Timor Gap] are used only for the country [ETimor], Bishop Belo called for the setting up of an independent body [Timor Gap Watch] that will monitor every liter of oil from the Timor Gap and the way royalties are generated from it. Also the manner in which the royalties are spent will be closely monitored." Suara Timor Lorosae

Feb 3 ASIET's Timor Oil Statement
"While Indonesia occupied East Timor, everybody's attention was focussed on the fact that Australia and Indonesia were illegally sharing in another people's resources. There was little discussion of the fact that Canberra had squeezed a concession out of Jakarta which gave Canberra a 50% share in royalties from oil and gas that were not even in Australian territorial waters!" Max Lane, [Australian] national chairperson, Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor

Dec 10 2000 ACFOA Position Paper: Negotiations of the Timor Gap Zone of Cooperation
"... it is critical to ensure that East Timor will have access and make good use of all its resources in order to enable the rehabilitation of its infrastructure and become in the medium term more economically self-sufficient and therefore less dependent on foreign aid. ... The East Timorese should be given a larger share of the oil and gas resources than the one they presently receive under the Timor Gap Treaty." Australian Council for Overseas Aid

Tetum:
Nov 17 BLH: Saude, Oekusi, Deskulpas, no Mina: Koneksaun Timor Lorosa’e ho Australia
"Tanba ne’e maka Lao Hamutuk husu ba Governu Australianu atu halo kotu sira nia tuntutan ba direitu ruma kona ba mina no gas natural iha Timor Gap. La haré ba meritus legais nebe Timor Lorosa’e iha (ne’e be makas tebes), justisa basika haruka atu Canberra rekonhece no husu deskulpa tan sira nia passadu nebe halo moe tebes. Manifestasaun konkretu kona ba akto ida ne’e sei fo fatin ba Timor Lorosa’e atu menikmati, tanpa sanksi, beneficius hotu nebe sei hetan husi depositu mina no gas natural iha Timor Gap." La’o Hamutuk, Instituto Timor Lorosa’e ba Analiza no Monitoring Reconstrucao

Nov 17 LHB: Health, Wealth, Apologies and Oil: The East Timor-Australia Connection
"La’o Hamutuk calls upon the Australian government to cease its demand for any rights to the oil and natural gas in the Timor Gap. ... basic justice requires that Canberra recognize and apologize for its shameful past. A concrete manifestation of such an act would be to allow East Timor to enjoy without sanction the full benefits of the oil and natural gas deposits in the Timor Sea. Such a gesture would be good for Australia’s political health." La’o Hamutuk Bulletin Editorial


Articles:

Nov 19 Aust: Timor venture on hold  Article added Nov 20
"Development of the vast Sunrise gas reserves in the Timor Sea has been delayed at least two years. A meeting of joint venture participants in Perth on Friday failed to agree on a commercial arrangement for development. ... News of the delay comes as senior Australian government officials prepare to travel to Dili for a round of talks with the new East Timorese Government, in a bid to resolve differences over the Timor Sea Arrangement signed in July." Nigel Wilson

Sep 20 A Popular Challenge to UNTAET’s Achievements  Statement added Sep 20
"UNTAET has recently published in the September issue of its broadsheet Timor Tais 20 of the UN’s major achievements in East Timor. Many of these achievements are either misleading or things that UNTAET has been forced to do under pressure from Timorese people, civil society and leaders and international critics. ... Timor Sea Arrangement: The negotiations regarding the Timor Gap have not included transparent Timorese participation. Considering that the results of this agreement could dictate the economic future of this country, there has been no real and representative Timorese participation in the talks."

Aug 29 GLW: Elections mark new step toward independence  Article added Aug 31
"The Australian government’s position on the Timor Sea dispute is consistent overall with the pro-big business policies implemented by both the Liberal-National Coalition and the Labor Party since the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975. While both may have adjusted their position at times in accordance with changing political circumstances (such as during the upsurge of mass protest calling for UN military intervention to stop the post-referendum slaughter in 1999), Labor and the Liberals have a thoroughly bipartisan approach guided by the central goal of aiding Australian business interests." Jon Land, Indonesia - East Timor Campaign Watch

July 2001 LHB: Reconstruction & Transition: What are the Next Steps?  Bulletin added July 29
"Such budget growth could consume all the revenues from the Timor Sea, thus eliminating alternative uses of the revenues such as saving some for future years when oil- and natural gas-related income declines. At the same time, UNTAET and the World Bank state that widespread poverty will continue to be a problem faced by East Timor despite the projected revenues from the Timor Gap. For the this reason, they argue that the international community will need to provide financial and technical assistance to East Timor over the long-term." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Jul 1 AETA: The Wahid Visit, Timor Gap and Beyond  Article added July 5
"Obviously Australia and East Timor want a friendly and cooperative relationship for the long term. A further potential sticking point exists though - analysis of the boundaries of the Timor Gap suggests the Timorese could claim territory to the east and west of the Gap - territory that is currently considered  Australian. These areas contain some highly productive oil wells, which pay significant revenues to Australia. Timor has legitimate claims to these areas, and (especially after the disastrous destruction of September 99) cannot forego such vitally needed revenues." Andrew McNaughtan, Convenor, The Australia East Timor Association (AETA)

June 2001 LHB: Can East Timor Survive the Aid Industry?  Article added June 22
"Timor Gap oil revenues will give East Timor a kind of economic flexibility that many other countries do not have. It would be possible, for example, to subsidise peasant agriculture - with improved agricultural extension and marketing systems and a revitalisation of the coffee industry. With long-term subsidies, it might also be possible to build up other industries - perhaps fishing, eco-tourism, and/or specialty crops. Yet this would go totally against the free-market globalisation ideology of the new elites, in part because it would require a transfer of resources from rich to poor." Joseph Hanlon

June 22 McKee comment on ABC: Pipeline to East Timor?  Comment & news added June 23
"the debate over the technical and economic feasibility of a pipeline to East Timor has been re-activated by PetroTimor’s claim that they can construct such a pipeline. It is known that the East Timorese leadership are aware of the benefits of a small diameter pipeline ... to bring gas from Bayu-Undan to the East Timor domestic market. This potential project would enable the small country to have a secure and clean source of energy ... " G A McKee, oil industry consultant

May 5 GLW: East Timor: Big business press backs Australian oil theft  Article added May 5
"In the wake of the second round of negotiations between Australia and East Timor on the Timor Gap Treaty and the disputed seabed boundary, Australia’s big business press are stepping-up its support for Canberra’s push to deny East Timor a fair share of the revenue from oil and gas deposits. ... There has been no indication that the UNTAET is pursuing any goals [in relation to Timor oil] different to the wishes of the East Timorese leadership. There have been no public criticisms from the National Council or the East Timorese members of the transitional cabinet.  Although the Australian government and its supporters in the capitalist media look set to continue their blackmailing and bullying tactics, and misrepresentation of the views of East Timor’s negotiators, UNTAET and the East Timorese leadership seems determined not to falter." Jon Land, Indonesia - East Timor Campaign Watch

Feb 2001 I-ETCW: Timeline of the Timor oil sell-out  Background added Apr 13
“UNTAET’s position, acting on behalf of the East Timorese people, is that the royalties and the tax revenue from the area north of the mid-point should come to East Timor, and if there is not going to be a maritime delimitation, East Timor should have the same benefit as if there were a maritime delimitation. That, after all is what East Timor is entitled to under international law”. Peter Galbraith, member for political affairs of the East Timor transitional cabinet. October 10, 2000

Feb 2001 I-ETCW Big Business in the Timor Gap  Article added Apr 13
"The Australian oil and gas lobby, through its considerable political power and influence, played a critical role during the negotiations of the Timor Gap Treaty in the ’70s and ‘80s. Industry representatives regularly accompanied ministerial delegations to Jakarta and had significant input into discussions on the Timor Gap. Australia’s largest mining and exploration companies helped shape the final treaty and gave their full support to successive Liberal and Labor governments’ policy of recognising Indonesian sovereignty over East Timor." Jon Land, editorial board, 'Indonesia - East Timor Campaign Watch' magazine

Feb 21 GLW: Scrap the Timor Gap Treaty  Article added Feb 21
"East Timor's leadership has stated, on several occasions, that while it considers the treaty illegal and invalid (as does the United Nations), it wants the oil and gas projects to continue. In the event of East Timor gaining full sovereign rights over its seabed resources, East Timor's leaders have stated that the fiscal requirements for companies operating in the gap shall remain the same." John Land

Jan 25-31 2001 CSD: Recommendations of Conference on Sustainable Development  Added Sep 15
"7. Invest substantially in sustainable development, including significant revenue derived from the Timor Gap. Investment priorities include: . Sustainable agriculture and biodiversity conservation; · Sustainable development education and research; · Water supply, sanitation and waste management; · Sustainable energy infrastructure; · Environmental impact assessment of development" Conference on Sustainable Development in East Timor

Jan 24 GLW: Digging in for East Timor's oil
"The federal government has refused to reveal its position [on Timor Gap] publicly, claiming this would counter the "national interest". The reason behind its reluctance seems to be the fear of a public backlash against a policy that would result in East Timor being denied desperately needed revenue while Canberra's coffers filled." Jon Land

Dec 6 2000 GLW: Australia's oil and gas grab exposed
"As the people of East Timor struggle to rebuild their lives and their nation, it remains the case that a major obstacle to achieving full independence and self-determination is the big-business oriented foreign policy of the Australian government."
Jon Land

Oct 25 2000 WSWS: Timor Gap dispute highlights motives behind Australian intervention  Article added May 4
"Australian media commentators have expressed concern that the Howard government's intransigence on the border dispute will discredit the official humanitarian rationale for the dispatch of Australian troops to East Timor. “Some observers believe,” noted a front-page article in the Sydney Morning Herald last week, “the Howard government is attempting to conceal its bid to minimise East Timor's share of Timor Sea mineral wealth because it would be unpopular domestically where there is strong support for the long suffering East Timorese. It could also damage Australia's international reputation as the saviour of East Timor.” ... Throughout all the twists and turns of Australian policy — from justifying the 1975-99 military subjugation of Timor's people at a cost of some 200,000 lives to suddenly claiming to be preoccupied with rescuing them from Indonesian-backed militias — successive Australian governments, both Liberal and Labor, have had a common objective — to secure a controlling stake in the Timor Sea oil and gas reserves." Mike Head

Apr 2000 II: The new Timor Gap: Will Australia now break with the past?  Article added May 4
" ... inflexible pragmatism has its inherent risks, since today's interests may be shortsighted tomorrow. Compliance with now well-defined international law principles may offer more long-term stability. ... East Timorese policy makers will of course have a pragmatic desire to work with Australia. Nevertheless, there are multiple factors tilting the balance towards a permanent median line seabed boundary settlement. ... Australia's foreign minister raising a champagne glass with his Indonesian counterpart is the treaty's unforgettable symbol. Asking the East Timorese to 'honour' the treaty indicates a certain insensitivity on the part of Australia. There will be strong public pressure for East Timor to make a symbolic break with the past. An historic opportunity now exists to remove the Timor Gap from the very short list of the world's disputed maritime areas. The ideal procedure is direct talks between Australia and a democratically constituted government of East Timor. Failing that, the dispute can always be resolved by international arbitration." Geoffrey A McKee, oil industry consultant


News:

Aug 16 abc/affet: Timor Sea Gas Project Impasse  Transcript & comment added Aug 17
"Alan Kohler (abc): Jim Godlove’s message is simple—go back to the 1999 letter. Jim Godlove, Phillips Petroleum: We’ve had a commitment to this project, a steady commitment, for the past five years. We want to be successful. But obviously at this point in time we are experiencing some difficulties, difficulties that we believe were fully avoidable, and difficulties that can be overcome, so long as the previous commitments are honoured." ABC ‘7.30 report’ television program
"Australians for a Free East Timor position is that Phillips and the Australian government should recognise that the October [1999] letter was signed [by Xanana, Horta and Alkatiri] under pressure if not duress, in circumstances which were unreal, the country destroyed, and the signatories had not been provided with those details about which the issue now turns, apparently. In a court of law, that signing would not stand up. ... " Rob Wesley-Smith, affet

Aug 2 ABC: East Timor pipeline on hold  Interview added Aug 4
"The fact is that the treaty was only initialled on July 5th. It left many questions to be resolved by East Timor and by Australia separately. One of the provisions of the treaty provides that East Timor will impose taxes on 90 per cent of the production of oil and gas. ... there are issues that have to be worked out, incidentally not just issues with East Timor but the companies also have issues with Australia. Apparently the Australian tax office is changing the depreciation schedule on pipelines in a way that could make them much less profitable, and that too is a factor in this whole process." Peter Galbraith, UN’s chief negotiator for the Timor Gap project

Aug 1 DJN: Epic Energy Unfazed By Phillips’ Timor Gas Pipe Deferral  News added Aug 2
“We support the stance taken by Phillips, ... Epic Energy continues its commitment to deliver Timor Sea gas to South Australia and New South Wales by the middle of this decade. ... Epic Energy’s core objective is to be in a position to transport domestic gas to the south and east of Australia when the gas lands ashore in Darwin, and at this point in time, Epic Energy’s overall development schedule remains unchanged,” Sue Ortenstone, chief executive of Epic Energy

Aug 1 SMH: Phillips pulls plug on Timor pipeline  News added Aug 1
“Participants in the Bayu Undan project have unanimously decided to defer indefinitely investment in the sub-sea pipeline proposed to transport gas from the Timor field to Darwin. ... The deferral reflects the need to resolve certain critical legal and fiscal issues arising from the Timor Sea arrangement.” American company Phillips Petroleum in a letter to the UN

Jul 12 NTnews: Timor Gap - Revenue cf Royalties  Letter to Ed added July 13
"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." Rob Wesley-Smith, australians for a free east timor, Darwin

Portuguese:
Jul 6 Público: Aglionby: Austrália e Timor Chegam a Acordo Sobre Petróleo  News added July 23
"Díli recebe direitos sobre 90 por cento das reservas de Timor Gap. Timor Leste recebeu ontem um salva-vidas de muitos milhões de dólares ao chegar a um entendimento com a Austrália sobre a divisão das reservas de petróleo e gás no mar que divide os dois países. Após 15 meses de duras negociações, acordou-se que Timor Leste receberá 90 por cento dos resultados da exploração e a Austrália os restantes dez por cento. Isto poderá traduzir-se entre 4 mil milhões e 5 mil milhões de dólares (880 a 1100 milhões de contos) durante 20 anos, a partir de 2004. A Austrália, por sua vez, deverá receber quatro ou cinco vezes esse montante com a refinação de todo o petróleo e gás, uma vez que não se espera que Timor Leste consiga desenvolver os meios para o fazer." John Aglionby

Portuguese:
Jul 6 Público: Henriques: O Fim do Timor Gap  News added July 23
"Timor Leste receberá 90 por cento dos resultados da exploração e a Austrália os restantes dez por cento. Isto significa para Díli entre 880 e 1100 milhões de contos, garantidos durante 20 anos. Mas a Austrália não fica pior. Vai receber quatro ou cinco vezes esse montante, uma vez que tem sob o seu controlo a refinaria de todo o petróleo e gás proveniente das reservas. "O novo acordo sobre o Mar de Timor é um bom negócio para Timor Leste e um negócio ainda melhor para a Austrália", escreveu Galbraith (num artigo conjunto com Mari Alkatiri, que detém a pasta da Economia) no diário australiano "Sydney Morning Herald"." Francisca Gorjão Henriques

Jul 6 AT: Timor Gap: East Timor not counting its pennies yet  News added July 7
"Tim Anderson, a research officer with the Sydney-based group Aidwatch, cautions against over-optimistic views that East Timor will gain significant income without putting further pressure on the oil companies. “What we would like to see examined is how the costs of production are determined and accounted for. After 10 years of the treaty’s operation, it should be possible to assess whether the cost accounting system is working,” he says." Asia Times

Jul 6 TP: Angela protests Timor Gap Agreement on behalf of National Council  News from ETimor added July 7
“We do not know the details of the negotiations and how the oil and gas resources are really being split. All this while we have been kept in the dark ­ there were only one or two people making the decisions. Once again the people of Timor Lorosae have been sold out, ... We are not yet a definitive country, and we cannot give that right to bind the country to an outsider,” Angela Freitas, a National Council member from the Trabalista Party

Jul 6 Guard: East Timor signs lucrative oil deal  News added July 7
"In addition to its 10% share of the upstream royalties, Australia is likely to make four to five times that figure from refining the oil and gas, ... “Ninety percent is great,” Mr Galbraith said. “I think it’s the best deal we could have gotten. Obviously, I think we were entitled to 100% of the upstream [royalties], but to get that would have meant going to court and, with the time delay, we would have lost out.” Australia was granted a 50-50 split when East Timor was under Indonesian rule, partly, it is thought, in return for recognising Indonesian sovereignty over the territory, which lasted for 25 years until 1999. The Australians initially wanted to maintain that ratio, but soon realised that their claim had little legitimacy." John Aglionby, The Guardian south-east Asia correspondent

Jul 6 SCMP: Oil, gas deal 'favours Australia'  News added July 7
" “The new 90/10 split looks good on paper but there is a very arcane science in determining what is a barrel of oil, how by-products are defined, whether shipping is taxable, whether tax should start at the pipe or in the air and so on. You could argue that the Australians have given them [East Timor] 90 per cent of nothing,” said a source close to the negotiations." Vaudine England in Jakarta

Jul 5 RDP: Timorese leaders say oil revenue must be spent wisely  News added July 6
"Until a system is set up to ensure that the money, these resources, will indeed benefit the whole population and not just some bank accounts, it will be a good idea to take great care. And above all we must develop a transparent, solid, effective system to absorb this money and spend it positively to develop the whole country." Mari Alkatiri, East Timor’s Minister for Economic Affairs

Jul 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

Jul 4 DJN: Australia The Main Winner From East Timor Pact -Timor Minister  News added July 5
"Australia stands to gain most of the economic benefits from energy production in the area, he [Galbraith] said. ... Galbraith rejected repeated assertions by Australia’s Foreign Minister Alexander Downer that Australia wanted to be and was generous in striking the agreement. The agreement isn’t about generosity, he said. “The Australians did what we did, which is they bargained very hard on behalf of their own national interest,” he said in an interview on Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio." Ray Brindal, Dow Jones Newswires

Jul 4 SMH: East Timor gets $7bn for its share of oil and gas in historic deal  News added July 4
“It will make the difference between being mired in poverty and having a chance to provide a better life for the people,” Peter Galbraith, East Timor’s chief negotiator

Jun 20 AFP: UN blames Australia for Timor Gap treaty delay  News added June 25
“some new issues have been introduced by the Australian side and that’s making it more difficult. ... I think they can be easily resolved on the basis of the text we had been working on until just a week ago. But now, I don’t know. ... It will be very difficult if not impossible for any agreement to be concluded between July 15 and when the new government takes place after the election of a constitutional assembly,” Peter Galbraith, political affairs chief, United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET)

Jun 15 AAP: Timor Gap talks on sharing oil, gas reserves bog down  News added June 16
“Being realistic, we are getting stuck now on the three main issues, ... We’re still doing our best to have the agreements concluded by July 15 or even before. ... We are very generous, we are ready to give 10 per cent from 100 per cent of ours to Australia,” Dr Mari Alkatiri, East Timor’s Minister for Economic Affairs

Jun CT: East Timor leader 'frustrated' by lack of justice  News added June 12
"We [Australia and East Timor] have to show leadership, pragmatism and a sense of responsibility. The Timor Gap [treaty] has to be signed. ... If we do not sign, the two sides should be blamed, and I don't want the East Timorese side to be blamed. ... We cannot begin our new nation, our new country by scaring off investors, particularly those who have already invested hundreds of millions of dollars." Jose Ramos-Horta

Jun 6 AAP: Timor Gap revenue split remains unresolved: DFAT  News added June 9
"There are a number of areas that are still subject to finalisation in negotiations, ... Revenue split is one, but there are a number of others. ... After a rocky start we’ve made some very substantial progress in those negotiations and we hope to be in a position ... to approve a framework agreement for the Timor Sea, probably in early July,” David Ritchie, first assistant secretary, DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Australian Government)

May 30 AAP: East Timor's Horta calls for over 90 pct of Timor Gap royalties  News added June 25
“Eighty-five per cent I hope is the minimum that the current [Australian] government will offer, ... (But) I hope that John Howard and Alexander Downer will want to do more than what Labor [opposition party] has offered. ... Kim Beazley and Laurie Brereton have said a Labor government will offer 90 per cent of the revenues to East Timor. ... So if I were John Howard and Alexander Downer, I would never allow Labor to be seen as more generous that I. ... So the minimum that the current government should do is to offer 91 per cent or 95 per cent. The Australian community will applaud that,” Dr Ramos-Horta

May 11 STL: Peter Galbraith: Timor Gap negotiations Slow But Certain  News from ETimor added May 13

May 3 TP: NC members off to Darwin to gather data on Timor Gap  News from ETimor added May 5
"Twenty-six councilors out the 30-member National Council will be making their way to Darwin between 8 May - 10 May to seek further data on the Timor Gap. This data will be used by the National Council to analyze the involvement of the Australian government and Philips Petroleum in the development of the Timor Gap, said National Council President Manuel Carascalao yesterday." Timor Post

Apr 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

Apr 30 UNTAET: National Council Briefed on Timor Gap  News from ETimor added May 1
"The National Council Standing Committee on Infrastructure today invited Mari Alkatiri, Cabinet member for Economic Affairs and Peter Galbraith, Cabinet Member for Political Affairs and Timor Sea, to speak on the issue of the Timor Gap negotiations. Alkatiri began by explaining the agreement between Australia and Indonesia, negotiated in 1989, noting that if one were to abide by international law and norms, 100 per cent of the oil reserves of the Timor Gap belong to East Timor." UNTAET Media Briefing Notes

Apr 19 Age: Oil, gas and money: Tiny Timor talks tough  News added Apr 19
"Before a conference of resource industry leaders in Hobart last week, Peter Galbraith [member for political affairs, ETimor transitional cabinet] went through the numbers. If the new nation of East Timor gained all royalties from current and planned resource projects in the Timor Gap, it would earn $515 million a year. Two oilfields alone, Galbraith continued, could generate $1 million a day for East Timor. Imagine, Galbraith told his audience, what this means to a country that has an annual recurrent budget of $45 million, “where every building was burned to the ground, where there are 70 students for every teacher”. But if Galbraith came with pleas, he also came with demands. The 1989 Australia-Indonesia Timor Gap treaty was illegal because Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor was illegal, he said. Therefore an entire new treaty must be negotiated, with East Timor receiving 100 per cent of Timor Gap royalties." Dennis Schulz and Mark Forbes

Apr 18 SMH: East Timor eyes off oil's billions  News added Apr 19
"The Timor Gap issue is diplomatically sensitive for Australia, given criticism that the original treaty - supported by both Labor and Coalition governments - sold out the East Timorese people while they were under brutal Indonesian occupation. ... In Darwin yesterday, Mr Burke [Northern Territory (Australia) Government’s Chief Minister] warned that if East Timor continued to take a hardline stand, it risked not getting any revenue for years to come. East Timorese representatives have threatened to take Australia to the International Court of Justice if an agreement cannot be reached." Craig Skehan, Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Sydney Morning Herald

Feb 28 GLW: Protests demand `Timor oil for the Timorese'  News added Feb 28
“Although mainstream Australian politicians now bask warmly in the glow of support for East Timorese independence ... the real contemporary test of their political commitment to East Timor's future is the extent to which they will support substantial direct economic aid to East Timor and full East Timorese sovereignty over important economic resources which can underpin rising living standards and the capacity to develop social infrastructure.” Grahame McCulloch, general secretary, [Australian] National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU)

Feb 10 Petromindo: Indonesian House urged to cancel Timor Gap agreement  News added Feb 13
"I don't want to say if the Timor Gap agreement is illegal or not. But, the territory covered by the agreement was located in East Timor that has decided to stay independent from Indonesia. It means Indonesia has no interests in that area anymore," Iin Arifin Takhyan, Pertamina

Feb 8 HS: Matters that cause Australians shame and loathing  Letter added Feb 8
"It would be a worthy tribute to the Australian military personnel who risked their lives in East Timor if John Howard returned all the Fretilin money plus interest and handed over all the revenues under the Timor Gap oil and gas treaties. This would do more for world peace and the Timorese nation than handing out tarnished awards to irresponsible politicians." Shirley Shackleton

Tetum:
Fev 3 STL: Bispo Carlos Ximenes Belo husu atu bele harii “Timor Gap Watch”  News from ETimor added July 6
“Ha’u ladun fiar uituan ho liafuan sira nebe hateten katak ita sei sai nasaun nebe riku tanba mina, ... Ita sei sai nasaun nebe riku wainhira honorarium (royalties) ne’e uza atu dezenvolve nasaun, la’os atu koruptor sira mak gasta. ... Wainhira iha badan nebe kontrola (watch-dog), ha’u fiar katak Timor Loro Sa’e sei sai nasaun nebe riku, ... Maibe se laiha ita sei bele sai hanesa nasaun balun iha Afrika nebe taxa ba mina nian uza fali atu hariku na’ok-teen sira, la’os povu.” Bispo Carlos Ximenes Belo

Feb 3 STL: Bishop Belo Calls For Timor Gap Watch  News from ETimor updated Feb 9
"In order to ensure that the royalties [from Timor Gap] are used only for the country [ETimor], Bishop Belo called for the setting up of an independent body [Timor Gap Watch] that will monitor every liter of oil from the Timor Gap and the way royalties are generated from it. Also the manner in which the royalties are spent will be closely monitored." Suara Timor Lorosae

Jan 30 STL: 2005, Timor Lorosae to be a rich country  News from ETimor added Feb 5
"With that formula [90:10], Galbraith stressed, East Timors present royalties of USD3 million a year will increase to USD300 million a year within a period of between five to 10 years. If that calculation is accurate, STL estimates, the whole of East Timors reconstruction can be paid for without any outside help from donors." Suara Timor Lorosae

Jan 30 STL: Timor Gap Further Negotiations: Dont be Hinged to 90:10  News from ETimor added Feb 5
"In further negotiations between East Timor and Australia, the party representing East Timor must not be hinged to the 90:10 formula. Instead, they should be brave enough to renegotiate the whole Timor Gap deal." Francisco Guterres, Dean UNATILs Faculty of Socio-Politics

Jan 26 Financial Times: East Timor demands oil money
"They [Australia] should say to East Timor, here's the oil, it's yours, take it," Jose Ramos Horta, East Timor foreign minister and Nobel peace laureate

Jan 17 IPS: Reconstruction an uphill climb
"UNTAET figures say that oilfields around East Timor could bring in $100 to $200 million a year in revenues. There are some "hundreds of millions of barrels equivalent of oil and gas already being exploited" in the Timor Gap, according to ETTA. For a country with a budget of less than $ 80 million a year, that means a whole lot." Johanna Son

Jan 15 SMH: Oil is more important to us than to Australia, says Gusmao
"To have a fair treaty, Australia has to consider that we have our perception of the problem, our rights in this issue. ... We will respect the rights and interests of Australia, but Australia has to respect our rights and our interests there. ... It is more important to us than to Australia - the new terms of the treaty. ... It is preferable that we get it [oil revenue] rather than it goes to Canberra and then comes to us as aid." Xanana Gusmao, President, CNRT

Jan 5 AU: Talks stall on Timor Gap oil profits
"So far it has offered about 60 per cent of revenue, which could total $US100 million ($180 million) a year. East Timor, represented by the UN Transitional Authority in East Timor, is arguing strongly for a 90 per cent stake in revenue, or alternatively for the boundary between the two countries to be redrawn at the mid-point between their coastlines." Robert Garran

Dec 2 Econ: Timor's troubled waters
"Australia is in two minds. The conservative government in Canberra, led by John Howard, argues against a new treaty that would leave Australia with only a fraction of the mineral wealth it had before. But the government is also wary of appearing to bully a helpless new nation. Public opinion in Australia is highly sympathetic towards the East Timorese, whose only other economic resource is fish. Australia already has oil reserves four times the size of those in the Timor Gap." The Economist

Nov 29 IPS: Oil & Good Relations Don't Mix
"The view of East Timor, which was shared by UNTAET, was that the Australian-Indonesian treaty was illegal because Indonesia didn't have the authority to make any decisions," Peter Galbraith, head of UNTAET negotiating team

Nov 28 CAA - Oxfam in Australia: The Timor Gap Treaty: Latest News
"The real problem for the Australian government lies in the wider consequences of a redrawn boundary in the Timor Gap. ... Indonesia might well seek to renegotiate the entire maritime boundary between Australia and Indonesia, using the renegotiated boundary between East Timor and Australia as a precedent. From the Australian point of view, this would endanger a much wider area of potential oil or gas reserves, of which the Timor Gap is only the centrepiece." CAA Update

Oct 9 2000 AAP: Australian Labor Party / Australian Democrats back East Timor on Gap Treaty  News added Feb 27
* "Such a settlement [a boundary between Australia and ETimor equi-distant from both nations] would place major gas and petroleum reserves within East Timor's maritime boundaries and constitute a just outcome consistent with the law of the sea," Laurie Brereton, Australian Labor Party foreign affairs spokesman
* "[Australian] Democrats' foreign affairs spokesperson Vicki Bourne said she favoured a proposal which would give 90 per cent of all revenue from gap development to East Timor." AAP


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