The Australian Parliament has just passed legislation to implement the treaty between Australia and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, establishing their maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea.
The news follows the historic act which occurred on 6 March 2018, when Australia’s former Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, and Timor-Leste’s Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister for the Delimitation of Borders and the Agent in the Conciliation, His Excellency Mr Hermenegildo Pereira, first signed the treaty in the presence of the UN Secretary-General in New York.
The Treaty establishes permanent maritime boundaries between Australia and Timor-Leste in the Timor Sea and a stable legal framework for future resource development.
It allows for both countries to develop the Greater Sunrise natural gas fields together and share in the benefits, providing certainty and stability for oil and gas businesses and investors.
This recognises both Australia and Timor-Leste have legitimate sovereign rights as coastal states under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The Treaty will also support Timor-Leste’s economic development by providing new opportunities for income and commercial and industrial development.
The revenue from Greater Sunrise is expected to be split 80-20 if gas is piped to Australia for processing, or 70-30 if it is piped to Timor-Leste.
The Treaty also reflects a strong partnership between the two countries which are bound by geography and deep ties of history and friendship.
In commenting on the news, Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Scott Morrison MP, said that since the signing of the treaty in March 2018, the Australian Government has worked alongside the Timor-Leste Government and offshore petroleum operators on transitional arrangements that provide commercial certainty and security for all the parties.
“With the passage of the treaty’s implementing legislation today, Australia is now ready to partner with Timor-Leste to jointly develop the Greater Sunrise gas fields for the benefit of both countries,” he said.
“Greater Sunrise will provide new opportunities for income, and commercial and industrial development in Timor-Leste, and is an important part of Timor-Leste’s economic future.”