[caption id="attachment_61654" align="aligncenter" width="610"]
Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester (right) and ATSB chief commissioner Greg Hood[/caption]
When Australia touted a First Principles Review
in November of the ATSB managed search for MH370 the tripartite collaboration this involved was prominently emphasised.
However when the review reported on Tuesday the Australian Minister responsible for aviation Darren Chester was quick out of the blocks to reject its main recommendation, that the parties found it desirable to look, with a strong degree of confidence, for wreckage that probably ies within a 25,000 square kilometre unsearched area along the seventh arc of possibilities to the NE of the current nearly exhausted priority zone.
Today there are reports in Malaysia that a tripartite meeting of the search partners which obviously include Australia and China will determine the future course of action.
On inquiry this morning the minister's office was unable to confirm or deny that such a meeting would be held or where or when.
In fact under the terms of the previous agreements Australia cannot unilaterally tell the the other two partners what it has decided that they will do. That's so 'not on' it isn't even funny. It remains possible that Mr Chester has indeed consulted with his Malaysia and China counterparts, and that the Malaysian reports, which rarely depart from the official line, whatever that may be at any time, are a screw up. Or not.
The Minister's office stands by his official statement
, and the interview he gave radio station 2GB
. The Minister wants a definite location for the wreckage before it is searched for, which of course would turn a search into a recovery, which would be a matter entirely for Malaysia.
There does seem to be a semantic breakdown in the Minister's office. Surely the position would not be to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Or would it? We still don't know with finality.