The history of Australia’s relationship with Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor) is a long and sordid one. Decades of complicity by both Labor and Liberal governments alike in the Indonesian genocide there led to a great material prize – the carve-up of oil and gas in the Timor Sea. Post-independence for the fledging nation, not a lot has changed. Australian companies still take an unfair share of Timor-Leste’s resources, and a large percentage of royalties flow to Canberra under the terms of the much-criticised 2006 Treaty between Australia and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea. But led by the Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea, the people of Timor-Leste are fighting back against Australian bastardry and venality. Alex Whisson spoke to Tom Clarke from the Melbourne-based Timor Sea Justice Campaign. He began by asking him to explain exactly what made the oil and gas treaty between the two nations so unjust.
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