The great timorese rip-off

The Australian has bugged the East Timor government during crucial negotiations over the $40 billion gas resources in the Timor Sea.

Not surprisingly the East Timorese government  has annulled the Timor Sea Treaty on the basis that Australia engaged in insider trading.

timor gap treaty
foreign ministers, hose ramos-horta (Timor Leste) and downer (Australia) hand over treaty documents
prime ministers Gutierrez (Timor) and Howard (Australia) are in the background

This week Australian Security Intelligence Organisation ASIO spies removed files and computer data from the office of lawyer Bernard Collaery who is representing East Timor in its case against Australia in the Hague.  ASIO has gone out-of-control and raided  Collaery’s home on the eve of the case going to court. The raid was led by the same ASIO agent who bugged the Timor Gap oil negotiations in 2004. He is trying to cover-up his actions that are in breach of no Australian law because Australian law permits ASIO and Australian Secret Intelligence Service ASIS to do anything – even to bug the personal calls of the wife of the President of Indonesia.

It is the international fall-out that ASIO and ASIS is worried about – who is going to trust a government that allows rogue actions against citizens taking legal action in the Hague?

An ex-ASIS whistleblower who is a witness in this case has been arrested.The whistleblower is the former director of all technical operations at ASIS –

A petition  calls for the resignation of Attorney-General George Brandis and Head of ASIO, David Irvine.

The foreign minister, Julie Bishop, and the head of her department, Peter Varghese, are trying to patch things up with the Indonesians today.

More importantly, the gas revenue are critical for East Timor’s development. For the past 40 years successive Australian governments have tried to rip-off the Timorese people.

I remember attending a continuing professional development session circa 2003 which was attended by two tax officers from Canberra. At the end of the session they mentioned that they had negotiated a tax treaty over the Timor Gap oil deal. From the back of the room came a stream of abuse from a former tax officer who accused these tax officials of selling out the Timorese people. Redfaced, the SES officer who had introduced the session singled for the protesting tax officer to be quiet. Undaunted, the criticism kept coming from the back of the room.  In the hubub that ensued, the two officers who had negotiated the tax treaty over the Timor Gap eased themselves toward the exit door, left the room and flew back to Canberra.

I remember fully believing every criticism launched at these two unsuspecting tax officials.

Both the person who made the outburst criticising the Timor Gap Treaty and me were later removed from the Tax Office. We had worked there for many years as technical officers. The SES officer who conducted the CPD session played a strong part in my sacking.

Ian Curr
6 Dec 2013

2 thoughts on “The great timorese rip-off

  1. Gareth Smith says:

    Good on you, Ian, not only for your stand back then for the Timorese but for your continuing activism for all of us who lack (gladly) corporate power.

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