Kupang (ANTARA) – Residents of West Timor, East Nusa Tenggara, filed a claim with the United Nations Special Rapporteurs to Australia for compensation over the trans-boundary harm suffered as a consequence of the Montara oil spill in 2009.
“The claim was proposed and represented by public international lawyer Monica Feria-Tinta, who works in England and Wales,” Ferdi Tahoni, head of Team for Montara’s Victim People Advocacy, stated here on Monday.
Montara is an oil and exploration company off the northern coast of Western Australia run by PTTEP Australasia, a subsidiary company of Thailand’s state-owned enterprise.
Feria-Tinta proposed the claim to David R. Boyd, Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment; Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty; Baskut Tuncak, Special Rapporteur on hazardous substances and wastes; as well as the UN Working Group on business and human rights.
The lawyer, representing 13 districts in West Timor of East Nusa Tenggara, explained that the claim is considered a claim for human rights to set a precedent on repairing the catastrophic environmental harm caused by the cross-border oil disaster.
In late 2009, the Australian government’s investigation committee had been reported that the company’s procedural shortage in the oil field was systematic and shattered in several aspects that lead to the blow-out incident.
In the claim, Australia is accused of breaking the international law on the prevention of cross-border risk and dangerous activities that inflict harm on the people of West Timor.
“Some efforts to involve Australia to handle the people’s complaints were being ignored until this day. Hence, it is the reason why the people, as victims, are left with no other choice but to open the case up at the international level and seek UN intervention,” Tahoni remarked.