Bill introduced to implement Treaty with Timor-Leste

  • Joint media release
28 November 2018

Thefirst tranche of legislation to implement the landmark Maritime Boundary Treatywith Timor-Leste has been introduced into the Australian Parliament today.

Ministerfor Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said Australia andTimor-Leste enjoy longstanding and deep ties, as close neighbours and friends.

"Wemade history together on 6 March this year when, through a world-firstconciliation process under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,we signed a treaty establishing permanent maritime boundaries," Minister Paynesaid.

"TheBill tabled in Parliament today signifies our commitment to ratifying the newtreaty, and to the positive chapter it opens in our bilateral partnership."

Ministerfor Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Matt Canavan, said among otheractions the Bill repealed the Petroleum (Timor Sea Treaty) Act 2003.

"ThisBill establishes the Greater Sunrise Special Regime as an area of jointAustralian and Timor-Leste jurisdiction and alters offshore petroleum permitsand licences to reflect the new maritime boundary," Senator Canavan said.

"Thetreaty provides for transitional arrangements to deliver stability andcertainty for companies with operations in the Timor Sea, so they are notdisadvantaged.

Furtherlegislation may be needed in this respect, but the Australian Government iskeen to proceed with implementation of the core elements of the Treaty,"Senator Canavan said.

"Weare working closely with our Timorese counterparts and affected petroleumcompanies to conclude these transitional arrangements."

The 2018 Treaty between Australia and the Democratic Republic of Timor-LesteEstablishing Their Maritime Boundaries in the Timor Sea includesconsequential amendments to 18 Acts across two Bills: the Timor Sea MaritimeBoundaries Treaty Consequential Amendments Bill 2018 and the Passenger MovementCharge Amendment (Timor Sea Maritime Boundaries) Treaty Bill 2018.

Thetreaty will enter into force, through an exchange of diplomatic notes, onlywhen Australia and Timor-Leste have implemented their respective domesticobligations to give effect to the treaty and when the transitional arrangementsprocess is complete. The Government looks forward to bringing the new treatywith Timor-Leste into force as soon as possible.

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