Statement to mark the second anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

Media Release


03 March 2016

Mr Speaker—Tuesday 8th of March 2016 marks two years since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Members will recall that the scheduled flight between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing disappeared with 239 people on board, including seven people who called Australia home, six of them Australian citizens.

It is fitting that today we take time to remember the people on board the aircraft and those who grieve for them.

For the families and friends of those on board, the last two years has been nothing short of harrowing; intensified by the protracted uncertainty around the circumstances in which the aircraft disappeared. We share the burden of this sorrow.

The Australian Government is working systematically and intensively to locate the aircraft, together with our search partners, Malaysia and China.

We have utilised the skills of international experts to identify the most likely resting place of the aircraft and are using cutting edge technology to scour the ocean floor. Around 90,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched so far—of a total search area of 120,000 square kilometres.

Through our collective efforts, we hope to locate the aircraft and give some comfort to the family and friends of those on board and help us understand what happened to flight MH370.  Regrettably the aircraft may never be found and we may never know what happened.

Members of the House may be aware that a piece of debris, approximately one metre in length, has been found on a beach in Mozambique- a location consistent with drift modelling commissioned by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. This piece of debris will be transferred to Australia for assessment. It is too early to speculate on the origin of the debris at this stage.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of the crew on the search vessels. These men and women work around the clock to keep the ship moving while highly skilled technicians on board analyse a constant stream of sonar data. They work in often treacherous conditions for weeks at a time, away from their homes and loved ones, to carry out this important mission.  I know they have been deeply affected by the tragedy of MH370 and that they are keenly aware of the hope many have invested in them. I thank all those involved for their sustained efforts.

As we search the remaining area, I remain hopeful the aircraft will be found. I assure the family and friends of those on board that their loved ones have not been forgotten and remain in our thoughts.