The Timor Gap fraud

The ABC’s Rear Vision program provides people with more information about Australian government dealings with Timor Leste to see the crimes committed by the Liberal National Party (LNP) and Alexander Downer. But it was not just the LNP government, it was the entire Australian political class that is to blame for the East Timor injustice. 

Around 2003, I remember Terry Yates calling out Tax Office officials for their participation in the Timor Gap Treaty. Yates was a follower of Dorothy Day, an ATO clerk, and is now deceased. Management shut Terry down at the continuing professional development session (CPD).

The continuing professional development session was attended by two tax officers from Canberra. At the end of the session, they mentioned in passing 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 Yates who accused these tax officials of selling out the Timorese people. Redfaced, the SES officer who had introduced the session singled for Terry 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.

Also we should not forget the crimes of Labor leaders like Whitlam, Hawke, Keating and Beazley regarding East Timor and Indonesia. Let’s not forget it was the ALP foreign minister Foreign minister Gareth Evans who signed the Timor Gap treaty with Indonesia’s Ali Alatas while flying over the Timor Sea.

Foreign Ministers Gareth Evans (Australia) and Ali Alatas (Indonesia) toast the signing of the Timor Gap Treaty over the Arafua Sea

For example, I can recall seeing an interview with Whitlam as late as 11 November 1985 where he was still an apologist for Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor. Whitlam (the europhile) had the gaul to claim that Australia had no right to intervene or criticise the Indonesian invasion because the boundaries of Timor and Papua were drawn up in Portugal and Holland. Subsequent leaders, Hawke and Keating were even worse, kowtowing to Indonesia at every turn.

So it would be foolhardy to think Timor would be any better off should the LNP be removed.

It is a shame, also, that a socialist movement is not stronger in East Timor. Even Fretilin did not stand up to the Australian rip off.

For how else can we regard the Timor Gap treaty, signed by their leaders Jose Ramos Horta and Mari Alkatiri, as being any more than a sellout of the Timorese people’s interests?

Foreign Ministers Jose Ramos Horta and Alexander Downer confirm Timor Gap deal as their Prime Minister’s Mari Alkatiri and John Howard look on.

Listen to this recent Rear Vision program on Radio National

Ian Curr
29 June 2021


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