Indonesia: Austrialian damages sought for Timor sea oil pollution

East Nusa Tengarra, 22 Nov. (AKI) - An governor in eastern Indonesia has asked the Australian government for damages for the pollution of the Timor Sea caused by an oil spill from the Montara oil field on in August, 2009.

"The Australian government must be responsible and pay damages for pollution of the Timor Sea and for the damage to the detriment of our fishermen," said East Nusa Tenggara province's governor Frans Lebu Raya.

Earlier, political and economic affairs counselor at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta Michael Bliss who visited Kupang said a special team will soon announce the result of an investigation on the 21 Augustoil spill from the Montara oil field.

Bliss said the case was serious and had already been discussed by the Australian embassy with the Indonesian government.

He said that if the findings of the investigation team showed environmental damage, the company must be held responsible.

"The Australian embassy does not wish the problem remained unsolved which may affect the bilateral relations between the two countries," he stated.

Raya also said further that Rote Island in East Nusa Tenggara had also been polluted by the oil spill from the Montara oil field, meaning seaweed cannot be harvested there.

Other businesses in the fishery sector had also been disrupted, he said.

The southern part of Rote Island borders with the Indian Ocean and is especially prone to Australian oil pollution.


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