Hi Geoff and Guteriano,
Yes, it will be harder to lobby because of the reasons you mention- the disunity that carries a threat of more instability, (though it does seem that both Fretilin and the Timor government support the pipeline) and also the uncertainty of how the development would affect the lives of the people in Suai (I guess that’s where the pipeline would go) – whether all the changes that accompany the construction and operation of what I suppose would be a massive processing plant would be beneficial locally. And possibly disunity among East Timor supporters in Australia, tho I think that is fairly minor. And also because I think that Australian federal politicians when approached will say that the pipeline is solely an issue for Woodside, and possible the NT government – unlike the situation re maritime boundary. Isn’t it the NT government that would have to give permission for the pipeline to come to Australia?
On 17/11/2008, at 9:04 AM, Geoff McKee wrote:
> Esther wrote:
> The Secretary of State for Natural Resources, Alfredo Pires has suggested it would be helpful if Australian Timor support groups lobbied for the pipeline to go to Timor, but because (I guess) the decision is solely or predominantly a Woodside decision, rather than an Australian government decision, there is no point lobbying Australian MPs? and it is best to write to Woodside management, and maybe Woodside shareholders?
> Opinion only . . .comments welcome
> It is false to believe that the decision is solely for Woodside to make.
> I believe the key for East Timor is to win the support of the Australian government. There is a real possibility this can be achieved since Australia proclaims publicly that it is in the national interest of Australia that East Timor succeeds and does not fall into economic collapse. A stong case needs to be made for the pipeline – stronger than merely “more money” – and I have tried to help here.
> I do not believe the former – and formidable – East Timor solidarity movement can be effective whilst there is disunity in Dili. That is because in the earlier days, there was widespread support from people across all sections of society and across the left-right ideological divide. There are activists that are ardent Fretilin suporters due to history and ideology, and there are those who support the curent government led by Xanana Gusmao and Ramos Horta. Without bi-partisan support for a specific pipeline project, it will fail.