17 April 2019

Australia’s track record of abusing Timor-Leste [$] in order to steal oil revenues from the Timorese people is long and ongoing — endorsing Indonesia’s brutal occupationbullying the fledgling Timorese government after independence, spying on the Timorese government on behalf of an oil company[$], prosecuting a whistleblower and their lawyer in a secret trial, and now, failing to ratify a treaty more than a year after signing it: “The delay has meant that Australia continues to draw profits from the Bayu-Undan fields, which had previously been split 90-10 but was confirmed by the treaty to have belonged entirely to Timor-Leste. Estimates vary between $350,000 and $2.9m per week that Australia is drawing by continuing to claim 10% of the Bayu-Undan revenue.” The Timorese economy is almost entirely dependent on oil revenues, and its government is desperately trying to diversify before the money runs out. By continuing to steal from our neighbours, we are dooming them to future poverty. Not only should Australia immediately return the post-treaty Bayu-Undan oil revenues to Timor-Leste, we should also make reparation for the oil we stole by collaborating with the Indonesians for decades.