CANBERRA, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced on Sunday that former Chief of the Defense Force Air Marshal Angus Houston will lead a new Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC) that will be based in Perth to coordinate the government's support for the search of MH370.
He said that Angus Houston, a former chief of the defense force, is "an individual of enormous experience and great skill who has already served his country with distinction."
The new JACC will work with key Commonwealth, state and international stakeholders including the families, friends and international media.
"The JACC will ensure that the search being coordinated by AMSA and ATSB is reinforced by strong liaison with all the relevant stakeholders, including the families of the passengers," the prime minister said.
The JACC will also provide a single contact point for families to gain up-to-date information and travel assistance including visa services, accommodation advice, interpreter services and counseling, a statement said Sunday.
In addition, Abbott reaffirmed that the Australian government has already announced that visa fees will be waived for the affected families.
"This multi-country search is a powerful example of international cooperation at a time of adversity," he said.
To date, military air crew from Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States are searching for possible debris from MH370.
"They have been conducting these searches over a very large area in challenging conditions, far from the Western Australian coast and in variable weather," he added.