INDEPENDENT NEWS

Australia to build Parliament House in East Timor

Published: Thu 31 Aug 2000 10:46 AM
Australia to build Parliament House in East Timor
30 AUGUST
STATEMENT BY MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
THE HON. ALEXANDER DOWNER
I am pleased to announce, on the first anniversary of the popular consultation in East Timor, Australia will help design and construct a Parliament building for the legislature of an independent East Timor.
The design of the new Parliament will reflect East Timor's cultural heritage and will be determined in close consultation with East Timorese leaders.
Besides meeting the functional needs of a modern Parliament, East Timor's Parliament building will be an important cultural and political symbol, expressing the independent and democratic aspirations of the East Timorese people.
The new Parliament will also serve to express Australia's friendship with the people of East Timor and Australia's commitment to assist East Timor become one of the strong democratic nations of the region.
Support for the Parliament building forms part of Australia's program of support for the development of democratic government and effective administration in East Timor. This will include support for the establishment of East Timor's new National Council which will represent a broad cross-section of the East Timorese community under the current Transitional Administrative arrangements.
Australia will also provide support for the elections planned for the second half of 2001. This will include support for the establishment of an Electoral Commission, drafting of regulations, civic education, voter registration and support for conducting the election.
This initiative is part of Australia's commitment of $150 million over the next four years to help rebuild this new nation after the devastation of last year. Australia's program provides support to important development activities in education, health, water and rural development, as well as capacity building to establish effective and accountable public administration.
See also www.australia.org.nz

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