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Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into their relationship with Timor-Leste

27 May 2013.  Updated 8 October 2013

The Australian Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade began an Inquiry into Australia's relationship with Timor-Leste in February 2013. By the end of July, the Committee had received 85 written submissions and held four public hearings (transcripts below). However, Australia's Parliamentary election in September changed the ruling party, causing the inquiry to lapse, although the new Parliament could revive it. For more current information, see the Australian Parliamentary website on this Inquiry.

La'o Hamutuk was the only Timorese civil society organization which made a submission on time, although one was also made by the Timor-Leste Embassy in Canberra. The HAK Association submitted their thoughts in mid-June.

The committee held two public hearings in Canberra in late May (transcripts below), which were criticized by Senator John Madigan for "almost exclusively" inviting "a narrow group of insiders and bureaucrats."  Professor Clinton Fernandes wrote in The Conversation that the Australian inquiry into East Timor relations ignores local experience and urged the Committee to hear from more people who live in or have lived in Timor-Leste.

The committee held two brief hearings on the last Monday evenings of the Parliamentary session. Care Australia testified on 17 June and Canberra Friends of Dili appeared on 24 June.

We are listing all the submissions published by the Committee and linking to them, and we hope that others in Timor-Leste and around the world will make use of this opportunity to communicate their views to Australia's Parliament and to the public. The size is given for files larger than one megabyte.

No.Author/organizationMain topicsHearingMB
Timor-Leste civil society   
40Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La'o Hamutuk) history, maritime boundaries, aid, ISF, ....  
77HAK Associationhistory, justice, disappeared persons  
Timor-Leste Government   
46Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste in Canberrahistory, bilateral relations, aid, ...21 May 
Australian Government   
9Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relationsseasonal guest worker program21 May1.3
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Supplementary submission from ACIAR responding to committee questions
agricultural research22 May 
Supplementary submission from AusAID
, responding to CARE
AusAID (Supplementary), responding to questions from the Committee
aid (30 pages)21 May1.6
Department of Infrastructure and Transport
Department of Infrastructure and Transport (supplementary), responding to questions from the Committee
aviation links21 May 
50Department of Immigration and CitizenshipTimorese in Australia, border control21 May 
Austrade (Australian Trade Commission)
Austrade (Supplementary), responding to committee questions
Australian business opportunities in TL21 May 
53Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)various (27 pages)21 May2.0
83Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Supplementary), responding to committee questionsStrategic aspects, Oecussi, 2006 crisis, inflation, ASEAN, tourism  
Australian Federal Police
AFP (Supplementary), responding to committee questions
police training, law enforcement cooperation22 May 
67Department of Resources, Energy and Tourismoil, maritime boundaries, tourism, ...21 May1.9
68Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestryfisheries, biosecurity22 May 
85Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Supplementary), responding to committee questionsfish farming, biosecurity, poultry  
Department of Defence
Supplementary submission from Defence, responding to questions from the Committee, SEARCH and La'o Hamutuk
defence cooperation21 May 
72International Law and Human Rights Division - Attorney-General's Departmentmaritime boundaries21 May2.1
 Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (no submission, but hearing testimony) 22 May 
 Australian Fisheries Management Authority (no submission, but hearing testimony) 22 May 
78Northern Territory Governmentcooperation between neighbors 3.1
Australian academics   
1Joanne Wallis, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANUaid and local governance22 May 
2Soren Blau, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) and Clinton Fernandes, University of New South Waleshistory, national identity, missing persons,   
6Damien Kingsbury, Centre for Citizenship, Development and Human Rightshistory, maritime boundaries, aid, ...  
24Diane Mayer, Victoria Universityaid, education22 May 
27University of Melbournemuseums, libraries, education cooperation  
29Michele Ford, University of Sydney- Sydney Southeast Asia Centreeducation cooperation, aid  
30Royal Australasian College of Surgeonseye health, medical aid  
32Susan Harris Rimmer, Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, ANUgender equality, gender-based violence  
39Charles Darwin Universityeducation cooperation22 May 
41Helen Hillhistory, aid, agriculture, language, education cooperation  
42Michael Leach, Timor-Leste Studies Association, Swinburne University of Technologyeducation  
47Egas Sarmento, University of MelbourneTL archival materials in Australia  
48Universities Australiaeducation cooperation22 May1.4
54Stephen Howes, Robin Davies & Richard Curtain, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANUemployment, job training, aid22 May3.4
82Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU (Supplementary)perceptions of policing, etc.  
71Don Rothwell, ANU College of Lawmaritime boundaries21 May 
Australian civil society, friendship groups and solidarity groups   
17Tom Clarke, Timor Sea Justice Campaignmaritime boundaries  
3Rotary International (District 9680)Rotary projects in TL  
44Rotary Club of Byford & DistrictsRotary work in TL  
7The Fred Hollows Foundationeye health 1.1
8Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA, ACTUDecent Work Agenda, labour rights, employment  
14Australian Council for International DevelopmentAustralian NGOs in TL 1.5
15SEARCH Foundationhistory, maritime boundaries, aid, ...  
16Eric Craswell, Crawford Fundagricultural aid22 May 
56John Waddingham, Clearing House for Archival Records on Timor Inc. (CHART)history, archival records held in Australia, concealed information  
58CARE Australiapoverty, civil society organizations, aid17 June 
36World Vision Australiaprogress in health22 May5.5
23YWCA Australiachallenges facing and role of young women  
20Hunter East Timor Sisters Projecteducation, aid, poverty  
21Deb Salvagno, East Timor Women Australiawomen in Iliomar, aid 1.8
43International Women’s Development Agencygender equality, violence against women  
64Australia East Timor Friendship Association SA Inchistory, justice, oil, maritime boundaries, aid, ...  
25Alola Australiaaid, women and children education and health  
35Australian Volunteers Internationalvolunteers 1.6
10Victorian Local Governance Associationlocal gov't friendship groups  
37Friends of Baucaumaritime boundaries, history, aid, employment, ...  
12Friends of Suaicommunity relationships, aid to CSOs  
38Friends of Manatutohistory, maritime boundaries, aid, friendship groups  
52Friends of Malianadecentralization, friendship groups  
5Paul BendatOecussi  
13Robert J. Kingmaritime boundaries 1.1
18Malcolm Baxtermedical aid  
19Ken Westmorelandlanguage  
33Christopher Dureauaid and others  
34Sister Eileen (Rita) HayesErmera  
57Richie Gun, Australia-East Timor Friendship Association of SAfamily planning  
59Luke Goslinghistory, aid, investment, exchanges  
60Pat Walshhistory, CAVR recommendations to Australia, justice, reparations  
61Patricia Olsenrural poverty, history, maritime boundaries, aid  
62Jennifer Ann Armshistory, maritime boundaries, aid  
63Barry Brown, Canberra Friends of Dilihistory, aid24 June 
73James Dunnhistory, justice for past crimes  
Oil companies   
26Osaka Gas Australia Pty LtdGreater Sunrise, Osaka Gas' contributions to TL  
28Shell Development (Australia) Pty LtdGreater Sunrise, fiscal stability, Shell's contribution to TL  
31Woodside Energy Ltd on behalf of the Sunrise Joint VentureGreater Sunrise, Joint Venture's contributions to TL  
55Woodside Energy LtdGreater Sunrise, Woodside's contributions to TL  
66ConocoPhillips Australia Pty LtdBayu-Undan, contract sanctity  
70MEO Australia LtdTassie Shoals LNG for Greater Sunrise 1.1
Other companies   
51ANZ BankANZ in TL, trade barriers  
4Norbert Hoegerl, MicroMed InternationalMedical equipment 1.5

The Committee has published the following public hearings transcripts:


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