SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

MEDIA RELEASE

2 September 2017

TIMOR-LESTE BOUNDARY DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Labor warmly welcomes the breakthrough agreement between Australia and Timor-Leste on the Timor Gap Maritime Boundary dispute.

The maritime boundary dispute with Timor-Leste has strained our bilateral relations and has gone on too long. In my visit to Timor-Leste earlier this year it was clear that the relationship would substantially benefit from its resolution.

Labor is committed to multilateralism and a rules-based international system. We believe all nations benefit from abiding by international norms. If we want to insist that other nations play by the rules, we should adhere to them.

That’s why Labor committed in February last year to reaching a binding international resolution with Timor-Leste, either through bilateral negotiation or international arbitration.

This ruling vindicates Labor’s position and brings to an end more than 40 years of uncertainty over this maritime border.