Request for a meeting concerning the Timor Sea maritime
Your name, address and phone contact
Mr or Ms .................................. MP
Member for .......
Address ..............(see Australian Parliament House website for electorate address)
Request for a meeting concerning the Timor Sea maritime boundary
Firstly, I would like to congratulate the ALP for adopting the policy of entering into formal discussion
with the Timorese government over the maritime boundary in the Timor Sea, and that in the event of
disagreement, the willingness to submit the dispute to international adjudication. I note, however, that
the policy does not specifically mention the internationally accepted principle of the median line.
As you would well know, the compulsory conciliation brought by Timor-Leste against Australia
concerning the maritime boundary between our two nations will go ahead under the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). I am writing to you as my representative in the Federal
Parliament to request an appointment with you to discuss the matter.
I understand that the report of the five commissioners is due in September 2017. I also understand that
the nations involved may reach agreements before the commissioners' deadline. This presents Australia
with opportunities to enhance its international standing by acting with the goodwill and fairness which
we value so much.
The Foreign Minister's acceptance of the United Nations ruling is positive. It would be unfortunate,
however, if her mentioning of the non-binding nature of the outcome meant that Australia was
unwilling to enter wholeheartedly into the process. Also, it would be hypocritical if our government
called on other nations to settle disputes according to international law, for instance in the South China
Sea, while being reluctant to do the same in the Timor Sea.
Permanent boundaries would finalise the Timorese people’s long and determined struggle to become
an independent and sovereign nation. The resources thus gained would provide a significant income to
the nation, currently the second poorest in Asia.
This is a matter which is totally within the capacity of Australia to bring to a suitable conclusion. At
our meeting I would like to ask how you might assist in the Australian Parliament to move this matter
forward. You may also have some advice on ways Australian civil society can influence decisions
concerning the maritime boundary for the mutual good of Australia and Timor-Leste.
Perhaps you would ask your office to phone (..............) to let me know when you will be able to meet
Some additional facts are attached for your information.
I would also encourage you to visit http://www.timfo.org and http://www.gfm.tl/
The ruling concerning the conciliation is found at http://www.pcacases.com/web/view/132