Subject: Greens gain support for East Timor in NSW Upper House

22 September 2004

Greens gain support for East Timor in Upper House

Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon's motion to recognise the importance of the Timor Sea Boundary negotiations for the future of East Timor passed through the NSW Upper House today with unanimous support.

"The Greens are heartened to receive the full support of all parties on such a vital issue for East Timor." said Ms Rhiannon.

"The Greens sought recognition from the NSW Parliament that the Timor Sea resources will contribute to economic self-sufficiency for East Timor."

"East Timor is the poorest nation in our region. Australia must not deprive East Timor of resources needed for essential services like schools, hospitals and roads.

"Talks between East Timor and Australia resumed in Canberra this week, and worldwide attention is focussed on Australia's response to East Timor's claim to change the seabed boundary.

"37 European Union deputies appealed to Prime Minister Howard last week, calling for a 'rapid and just' solution to guarantee East Timor's rights over its resources.

"With so much at stake for the East Timorese people, it's important for the NSW Parliament to urge Australia and Timor Leste to conduct negotiations in good faith.

"The Greens motion welcomes Australia's commitment to expedite negotiations on a permanent maritime boundary, and acknowledges the lead role Australia has played in East Timor's transition to independence." said Ms Rhiannon.

More information: Susie Gemmell (02) 9230 3551 ; 0431 458 102


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