In undertaking the role of coordinating whole-of-Australian Government information, messaging and activities, the JACC works with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Geoscience Australia, Department of Defence, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as many other Commonwealth and state government agencies. The JACC also facilitates international engagement with all countries involved in the search and manages the tripartite arrangement that exists between Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China.
Both Malaysia and the People's Republic of China have sent experts to Australia to participate in the day-to-day work of the JACC, as well as working together with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and Geoscience Australia in relation to the complex bathymetry task and the underwater search.
On 30 March 2014, the former Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, established the JACC to coordinate the Australian Government's support for the search into missing flight MH370.
Originally based in Perth, on 5 May 2014, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Warren Truss MP, announced that the JACC would relocate to Canberra to ensure ongoing close communication with high level representatives from Malaysia and the People's Republic of China. The focus of search operations remains off the coast of Western Australia and all activities can be quickly relocated to Perth if required.
Cost of the Search
The Australian Government has provided around $90 million as part of Australia's contribution to the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, including $60 million towards the cost of the underwater search effort.
The final cost of the search will depend on a number of factors, including the outcome of procurement processes for specialist services, the length of the search and the extent of contributions from other countries. It is expected that the underwater search may cost up to $180 million.
On 28 August 2014, Australian Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Warren Truss and Malaysian Minister for Transport Dato' Sri Liow Tiong Lai, signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Government of Malaysia and the Government of Australia in relation to MH370. At that time, Malaysian Government committed to matching Australia's costs in the underwater search for MH370.
The People's Republic of China has committed $20 million in the form of funding and equipment.
In addition to the earlier commitment to match Australia's contribution of $60 million, Malaysia has agreed to fund the balance of the costs associated with searching the entire 120,000 square kilometre search area.