The End is Nigh!

It seems that after a long history, the maritime boundary between Australia and Timor-Leste has been finalised. Media reports state that a treaty between the two nations will be signed in New York on March 6. Acceptance by the Timorese indicates that the agreement is favourable, that is, that the median, or half-way line, governs the arrangement.

Interestingly though, the means of exploring for and exploiting the resources has not been finalised. The Timorese preference is for a pipeline to Timorese territory, entailing the development of new cities on the south coast with associated agriculture and industries. In that case, Timor-Leste would receive 70% of the revenue sharing. The oil companies prefer floating platforms with the resources linked to a  pipeline to Darwin. In that case the Timorese would receive 80% of the revenue. This decision will not be made by March 6.


Let us watch developments. The last thing which should be said, regardless of the outcome, is that Australia has been in any way "generous". This will be claimed by certain persons in government and the commentariat. The historians will be slower to attach any such glowing accolades to Australia. The whole saga is a sorry one, in which Australians as a whole do not shine. Here's something to read:

Australia might be doing the right thing now. Good. Well done. But let's not re-write history.