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REPÚBLICA DEMOCRÁTICA DE TIMOR-LESTE
GABINETE DO PRIMEIRO-MINISTRO

 TIMOR SEA OFFICE

 MEDIA RELEASE

 12 January 2006

Australia also a winner in Timor Sea deal

The agreement for Timor Sea revenue sharing signed in Sydney today will deliver significant benefits to the people of Australia and Timor-Leste.

The director of the Timor Sea Office, Mr. Manuel de Lemos, pointed out that the Australian Government stood to gain around US$2 billion in tax revenue from the Darwin LNG plant. In addition the Australian Government had already collected around US2.5 billion in tax revenue from the Buffalo, Laminaria and Corallina fields.

“While the Australian Government has described as ‘very generous’ the 90 per cent revenue share to Timor-Leste from the Joint Petroleum Development Area, it is important to look at the revenue share in totality.”

“The big picture shows that Australia stands to gain substantially from the development of the Timor Sea in general and from the downstream processing in Darwin. Our estimates show direct tax revenue of US$2 billion, and in addition are the multiplier benefits from this massive industrial development in northern Australia.”

“This is why our Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, has stressed the importance of fighting for onshore processing of gas in Timor-Leste. He said at today's press conference that a pipeline to Timor-Leste and an onshore LNG plant were technically feasible and economically viable,” Mr de Lemos said.

While Timor-Leste will gain a 50 per cent share of the upstream revenue from Greater Sunrise, it is important to remember that Timor-Leste gave up more than US$2.5 billion in revenue from the Buffalo, Laminaria and Corallina fields, which were claimed by Timor-Leste. This was part of the negotiation process, Mr de Lemos noted.

“It is inappropriate to characterise the result of these negotiations as a 'very generous' gesture on the part of Australia. The resources at stake in these negotiations were claimed under international law,” Mr de Lemos concluded.

Contact: Manuel de Lemos, +61 408 872 137, Paul Cleary +61 431055584

The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
Rua D. Alberto Ricardo, Bebora, Dili, Timor-Leste
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel: +670-3321040 or +670-77234330
email: 
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