So here we are a little more than half way through what is feeling like a long election campaign. Thankfully this election there are distinct policy positions from Australia's two major parties when it comes to the maritime border of East Timor.
East Timor, Labor, the Greens and key independents want one.
The Coalition does not.
We compiled some of the statements that have been made by the parties in our latest blog post Aussie Elections & Timor Boundaries. Any complaints or clarifications please be in touch. We have referenced all statements with links to relevant articles and quotes.
Now before I sign off, here is something that surprised me. After all the years of intransigence and game playing that goes on behind the scenes on this issue you would have thought I would have known better!
On Monday the 2nd of May we heard that Australia had responded to the initiation of Compulsory Conciliation by appointing their two conciliators to the five person panel that is to consider the current impasse and try to bring the parties together.
Although I believe this commission is necessary, I was a little pleased that Australia had responded as required by the UN convention.
Then last weekend it was revealed in the Saturday Paper that the Government of Australia was trying to scuttle the Commission before it can begin its work.
They plan to challenge the competence of the Commission and stop it in its tracks.
Here is a message that we are not to be fooled.
If anywhere in the election campaign you hear any Coalition candidate says that the issue is 'before the commission' or that 'we will have to wait and see what the commission says' - please someone ask the question - 'But aren't you trying to stop the Commission before it even begins?'
The fact is that the Commission would be unnecessary if Australia would just come to the table. The old policy has run its course. The arrangements were built on bad blood and it is time for Australia to turn the page on this one.
Regardless of the party that wins on July 2, it is time to draw the line.