Saturday, 19 June 2010
Bob Brown Urge Canberra to Help TL to Put Presure on Woodside to Bring Pipeline to TL
TS: Pipe to East Timor according to Government here said it will help national Development and reduce dependency on Australian aid. Do you think in this sense Pipep-line to East Timor is also Australian national interest?
BB: Absolutely – it is in Australia’s interest for Timor-Leste to have a strong economy and good employment. We want our neighbours to be vibrant and stable. Having access to your own gas resource is likely to assist Timor-Leste along its development path.
TS: What the impact to the environment if the pipe lines do come to Timor Leste?
BB: Any major industrial development will need an environmental impact assessment to ensure it can be developed in a safe way that does not damage the local environment. This needs to occur whether the pipeline goes to Timor Leste or Darwin. The BP disaster in the United States reminds us that this industry is not risk-free. Both Governments need to ensure that any development plan has extremely rigorous environmental conditions and controls locked in.
TS: Do you think the standoff between Woodside and Timor Leste over the pipeline issue can affect the relation between the two country Australia and East Timor?
BB: Yes - this is why the Australian Greens believe that Prime Minister Rudd needs to step in and demonstrate special good-will towards the Timorese people. The intention of the Treaty that we jointly signed was to see these resources developed for the benefits of the people of Timor-Leste and Australia, not for the sole benefit of private enterprises such as Woodside.
TS: After 10 years East Timor Independence today many people still consider Timor as one of 10th poorest countries in the world and our people living bellow poverty line. What do you say about millions of dollars of Australian aids to ET?
BB: The Australian Greens believe that the aid budget could be increased. Australia lags behind in making a fair contribution to reduction of poverty worldwide and its consequences on both lives and on global security. The Greens believe that the Australian Government needs to adhere to the international standard for aid – which is to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on aid – it is only half that target in 2010.
TS: Do you have any message to East Timorese because they have celebrate its 8 anniversary of referendum?
BB: Congratulations to the people of Timor-Leste on this 8th anniversary! Your growing nation has much to feel proud about and the Australian people hold a very warm place in our hearts for Timor Leste.