Brennan, Frank: Deja vu for Timor as Turnbull neglects boundary talks

Brennan, Frank

Deja vu for Timor as Turnbull neglects boundary talks‘, Eureka Street, 21 March 2016

Looks at the history of and recent developments in the boundary dispute between Timor Leste and Australia. Oil and gas lies beneath the sea and beneath the issue. Protests.

Were Labor to win the forthcoming federal election, there would be no reason to delay any further the negotiation of a maritime boundary. If on the other hand, Turnbull is returned with a mandate in his own right, he should come to see that Australian values and sound political principles support the need for his government to draw the line on past attempts to foreclose on boundary negotiations.

Given the ALP change and his own commitment to innovation and bold, clear thinking, Turnbull is unlikely to pledge his government to a further 41-year stand-off with Timor on the negotiation of a maritime boundary. Decent Australians and Timorese expect a change. Turnbull will have to stop preaching on the South China Sea if he is not prepared to act in the Timor Sea.

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