While no specific details are available, the agreement that has been reached refers to a ‘pathway to the development of the [Greater Sunrise] resource, and the sharing of the resulting revenue’. Australia had previously offered East Timor a 50-50 split of revenue from the Greater Sunrise field, so it is expected that the agreement will increase East Timor’s share of revenues. The agreement also leaves open the question of the ‘pathway to the development’ of the field.
I thank the Commission for its resolve and skill in bringing the Parties together, through a long and at times difficult process, to help us achieve our dream of full sovereignty and to finally settle our maritime boundaries with Australia. This is an historic agreement and marks the beginning of a new era in Timor-Leste’s friendship with Australia: former President of Timor-Leste Xanana Gusmão
We understand that people who work for the Australian government, the programs it funds, or the United Nations have had to surrender their freedom of speech on these issues, but many others have not: La'o Hamutuk.
Many Australian people believe that your Government has been generous to our people, but this is a misconception. Since 1999, Australia has provided approximately US$1.7 billion in military and civilian assistance for Timor-Leste through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms. During the same sixteen years, the Australian government has received nearly $5 billion dollars in revenues from oil and gas fields which rightfully belong to Timor-Leste. The more than three billion dollars Timor-Leste has “given” to Australia makes us your largest aid donor, not the other way around.
Timor-Leste's leaders must adopt realistic policies and make a serious effort to develop a productive local economy to replace non-renewable oil and gas reserves, rather than relying on wishful thinking about possible future discoveries. The alternatives are frightening indeed.
This is a disaster of not only local, but regional and international proportions. The impending arrival of the seasonal monsoonal cycle in the coming months will substantially change the nature and location of the impact of this massive spill.