Transcript of Interview—Today Show



30 July 2015

Topic: Wreckage on La Reunion Island

Lisa Wilkinson: …Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have desperately hoped for news, and for a miracle. But today it appears their wait is over. Investigators are almost certain the wreckage discovered on an Indian Ocean island is that of the missing aircraft, and there were reports this morning that a suitcase from the missing plane has also washed up on the island. For more we're joined now by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport Warren Truss, and Jeanette Maguire, whose sister Cathy Lawton was on board flight MH370. Good morning to both of you. If I can start with you, Deputy Prime Minister, it's been a long and heartbreaking wait for these families, when do you expect to find out whether or not this piece of wreckage is from MH370?

Warren Truss: Well it's looking increasingly likely that the piece of wreckage is a small part of the wing of a Boeing 777, then once that has been confirmed it is a matter of linking that to MH370. That will certainly take a little bit of time. The photographs that are available provide a lot of information which should help the confirmation that this is a part of a 777. I understand the wreckage will be moved by the French authorities to Toulouse for closer investigation, but that shouldn't delay the identification because there's quite a large amount now of photographic evidence in that regard.

So then it will be another step to move to linking the wreckage with MH370, it's certainly possible for the currents to have moved that piece of wreckage to that location. Indeed, we had always predicted that if wreckage was to make landfall it would be likely to be in that Madagascar area, and so that is a possibility, but still needs to be confirmed.

Lisa Wilkinson: So if that is the case, what is the next step for investigators?

Warren Truss: Well the Malaysians and the French will take control of that element of the investigation. From Australia's perspective, we'll continue to search in the area that's been identified as the most likely part of the Indian Ocean that the aircraft went into the sea. That search is being delayed a little bit now because of the poor weather conditions, but will certainly resume again strongly after the spring weather arrives in that area.

Lisa Wilkinson: Okay, Deputy Prime Minister, we thank you very much for your time this morning.

Warren Truss: You're welcome.

Lisa Wilkinson: Let's go now to you, Jeanette. You lost your sister Cathy and your brother-in-law Bob on flight MH370, what's it been like for you learning that this could possibly be part of that wreckage of MH370?

Jeanette Maguire: Good morning. It's a very bittersweet feeling for all of the family, it's quite emotional. We're really hoping for answers that we get from this wreckage that it is MH370 so that we have some idea and another part of our puzzle as to where our family and everyone else on board has gone, and have ended up, unfortunately.

Lisa Wilkinson: What sort of contact do you have with Malaysian Airlines so far from the disappearance of the flight, and what have you heard since this wreckage has been found?

Jeanette Maguire: I have contact with Malaysian Airlines every week, and have had that since day one of the disappearance. We get a phone call just to keep us up to date with any information. Unfortunately, that information generally is the same as what we're getting from the JACC office, which is fine, but at least they're doing the right thing in keeping us in contact. Sorry, I've missed the second part of that question?

Lisa Wilkinson: Just if there's been any contact since this piece of what's believed to be part of MH370 has been found?

Jeanette Maguire: Yeah, so when we saw the media yesterday morning I contacted DFAT straight away, and the JACC office responded with an email as to what the process was, and nothing was obviously confirmed at that point. We've since had previous emails to state that…pretty well what Mr Truss has said, that the- it's under the French authorities and that it has to go away and be analysed and have some more information. We're staying as optimistic and as positive as we can be, but we're just going to have to wait for that information to come through for us- we have to deal with the fact.

Lisa Wilkinson: What's the last 16 months been like for you, Jeanette, simply not knowing?

Jeanette Maguire: Horrific. Horrible. Putting on a brave face and trying to get on with our normal life. It's a new normal, and for everybody it's been very, very difficult; both emotionally, financially, and just trying to get ourselves on track and do what we can.

Lisa Wilkinson: Well, Jeanette, we can't even begin to imagine the sort of agony that you've been going through, and we really hope that in the weeks and months ahead that you experience as much strength as you possibly can.

Jeanette Maguire: Thank you. And we…if I could just say a big thank you to the Australian Government, the JACC office and everyone involved with the search, those people out there searching every day. We, as the family, really appreciate that, and it's so nice to be able to say that to them via camera.

Lisa Wilkinson: Jeanette, thank you very much.

Jeanette Maguire: Thanks for your time. Thank you.