Saturday, 19 June 2010

Bob Brown Urge Canberra to Help TL to Put Presure on Woodside to Bring Pipeline to TL

The leader of Green Party in Australian Parliament told Tempo Semanal that he wants to see Australian Government to support Timor Leste’s position to bring the pipeline from gGreater Sunrise to process on Timor Leste soil. His position is in line with Dili but so far Canberra still silent in regard to the issue. The long Saga between Dili and Woodside over the pipeline direction. The Woodside and Timor Leste Government stand off the issue of the pipeline. Since the end of April Woodside and it’s joint venture has announced their preferred option. It’s build an FLNG. But Timor Leste Government has oppose the company’s announcement. Dili is now getting support from Australian Parliament as Sen Bob Brown step in to voice the Timorese concern. Bob Brown (BB) has came to Dili to stood together with some civil society to protest his own government position in few years ago in front of Hotel Timor. To find out more about Sen Bob Brown's (BB) opinion lets read the exclusive interview done by Tempo Semanal (TS) last week.
TS: Your position that Pipeline from Greater Sunrise must come East Timor is similar to East Timor Government and people position. But Woodside and its partners disagree with you. What can you and the Australian Government can do under this situation?
BB: The Australian Government is a member of the Joint Commission and Sunrise Commission, along with the Government of Timor-Leste. As a member of these decision-making bodies the Australian Government can set conditions for the exploitation of Greater Sunrise. The Australian Government can also take a strong stand in voicing its opinion to Woodside. It’s just a matter of having the political will to put support for Timor-Leste’s development ahead of support for an Australian company’s interests.

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.

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