The Australian Government is holding back Timor-Leste from developing its own energy security, said Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown.
With Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos Horta in Parliament today, Senator Brown called on the Australian Government to commit to assisting Timor-Leste to develop a clean energy future.
“The Australian Government is not supporting a gas pipeline to connect the Greater Sunrise field to Timor-Leste, which would assist the young nation to develop its own fuel source and related industries,” said Senator Brown.
“Timor-Leste is one of the poorest nations in the world. 82% of households do not have access to electricity and 98% use firewood as their primary source of energy.
“Australia and Timor-Leste share the gas fields in the Timor Sea and the Australian Government should be supporting Timor-Leste to build a connecting gas pipeline.
“The Government is also only providing limited funding for the development of renewable energy in Timor-Leste.
“Australia and Timor-Leste share the gas fields in the Timor Sea and its time our neighbours got some more of the energy and development benefits from their resource.”
The Greens call on the Australian Government to:
- Vote with the Timor-Leste Government in the Sunrise Commission and Joint Commission to direct the Greater Sunrise developer to take the pipeline to Timor-Leste and assist the development process to deliver the gas by 2018.
- Fund the urgent establishment of a TAFE training facility to train Timor nationals in the skills needed for the pipeline development period and for the skills required for establishing a gas processing industry as well as rolling out and servicing renewable energy facilities.
- Provide $5 million a year over 10 years to fund household power and lighting in 50,000 households across Timor-Leste. The initiative will also fund solar power technician training to install and service the systems.