MH370: Search Costlier for AU Day after Day; AU to Support Next-of-kin Travel Reqs to Perth

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By Athena Yenko | May 6, 2014 1:39 PM EST

Australia, Malaysia and China convened in Canberra on Monday to discuss the next phase of the search for the missing MH370.

Once debris from the aircraft were already found and confirmed, the next-of-kin of passenger will be flown by Malaysia Airlines to Perth, with Australia responsible for the support and travel information - entry requirements - in and out of the country.

The arrangement had been agreed by the three chief participating nations as led by Australian Deputy Prime Minister , Warren Truss, joined by Malaysia's acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, and Chinese Transport Minister Yang Chuantang.

The arrangement will also entail MAS to render support for flights, accommodation, transportation and family support.

Meanwhile, the search for the missing MH370 is getting costlier for Australia day after day.

Australia had already spent $48 million approximately - the grand total spent to find the missing Air France flight AF337.

As calculated, the search for the missing Malaysian plane is costing Australia $1 million a day, Kym Bergmann, editor of Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter and a former government defence adviser told Newscom.au.

However, Bergman said that with so many people grieving, it was logical for the government not to discuss the cost among other nations involved.

 "I think in the fullness of time the information will come out. MH370 came down in our maritime zone of responsibility and it is our international obligation, and our responsibility certainly to pay down our own costs when this activity occurs. The reality is we live in a world of international treaties and obligations. If an Australian aircraft went down off the coast of Costa Rica ... we would expect all countries to abide by these treaties and obligations."

HMAS Success alone cost approximately $550,000 a day.

HMAS Toowoomba, MV Seahorse Standard, HMAS Perth and Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield, as well as a number of RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft cost separately each day of the search.

Conversely, Prime Minister Tony Abbott evaded questions involving the cost.

 "We have been essentially using Australian military assets, assets we would be paying for anyway," Mr Abbott said.

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