By Christian Edwards
PERTH, Australia, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Premier of Western Australia (WA), Colin Barnett, has pledged to coordinate, welcome and assist the families of those missing from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which authorities concluded ended somewhere in the remote southern Indian Ocean.
In a welcome expression of solidarity Wednesday, Barnett said that his government would do everything possible to support and welcome families from China and around the world -- should they choose to make the difficult journey to state capital Perth where the largest ever multinational armada continues to search for signs of MH370.
As search and rescue teams from around the world battle inhospitable conditions some 2,500 kilometers southwest off the West Australian coast, Barnett said his office was in close contact with the Australian Commonwealth as they coordinate the efforts surrounding the recovery of MH370.
"Whatever assistance they require, we will provide through the Department of Premier and Cabinet,"he told Xinhua.
The premier said that WA enjoys an already intimate relationship with China, having overseen a golden age in economic social and emotional ties.
The great majority of business ties extend from the West and some two-thirds of Australia's total exports to China now come from WA, now recognized as Australia's "China-Ready" state.
Sammy Yap, president of Perth's Chung-Wah Association, said his city's energetic Chinese community had already mobilized emotional and logistical support.
"Perth is a city which will try to ease their pain, and help them come to terms with their loss."
Local media reported the Federal and West Australian governments are discussing the establishment a reception center for bereaved families from China and elsewhere.
Buddhist temples around the city would be on hand to offer spiritual comfort, Yap told the press.
Local Councilor Lily Chen, president of the Australian Chinese Women's Federation (ACWF), said "emotional support" would be waiting.
"Perth will offer them comfort in any form, it is very important to ease the mental stress, sadness and shock."
Australian Defense Minister David Johnston told Xinhua at Pearce Airbase where Chinese YL-76s and an international squadron of P3 Orions have been flying sorties that Australian visa fees would be waived for the families of passengers on MH370.
The MH370 airliner, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, including 154 Chinese, went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.
Barnett said Perth was waiting with compassion. "We will do whatever we can to welcome these families to WA at this very sad time and assist with their stay here."