The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA

Media Release

12 October 2006

Australia and East Timor Sign Security Arrangement on Joint Petroleum Area

Today in Canberra, East Timor's Ambassador to Australia, H.E. Hernani Coelho Da Silva, and I signed a Memorandum of Understanding relating to Security in the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA Security MoU), in the presence of the Prime Ministers of Australia and East Timor.

The JPDA Security MoU will assist Australia and East Timor to prevent security threats - and provide for cooperation and coordination in responding to those threats - in the Joint Petroleum Development Area, an area where Australia and East Timor share government revenues from petroleum developments.

The JPDA Security MoU was negotiated under the auspices of the 2002 Timor Sea Treaty, which envisaged cooperation between Australia and East Timor for the protection of offshore oil platforms and facilities in the JPDA.

The MoU allows either Party to conduct surveillance operations in the JPDA for the purpose of identifying security threats or security incidents and to take action to respond to an imminent threat or incident in relation to petroleum activities in the JPDA.

Under the MoU, Australia and East Timor will be able to cooperate in acting on a threat or incident, such as making available staging areas, and transport and medical facilities to the other Party.

The Australian Government looks forward to cooperating with East Timor to ensure that petroleum developments in the Timor Sea are secure.

 

Media Inquiries: Mr Downer's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

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