Australia will continue to lead the search into missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 following confirmation that wreckage washed up on an Indian Ocean island was part of a wing from the plane.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed the search "must go on" and said that the discovery indicated the plane had crashed close to the place they had previously thought it had.
"What we have found in the West Indian Ocean does seem to indicate that the plane did come down more or less where we thought it did and it suggests for the first time we might be a little bit closer to solve this baffling mystery," Abbott is quoted by Australian daily newspaper, The Age on its online version on Thursday.
The Age stated reports that Australia has spent more than Australian $100 million (A$1=RM2.85) on the mission so far.
"I believe it is appropriate because not only were there six Australians on that plane, but millions of Australians - nearly every Australian - at some point in time is an air traveller," said Abbott.
"We owe it to the hundreds of millions of people who use out the sky to ensure their travel is as safe as it possibly can be, to try to get to the bottom of this terrible mystery," he added.
Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak early Thursday morning confirmed that a Boeing 777 wing segment discovered on Reunion Island was from MH370.
Meanwhile, Abbott's deputy Warren Truss said Australia respected the Malaysian government's confirmation but acknowledged there remained "a very small element of doubt" the wreckage was not from MH370.
The barnacles on and paint samples from the wreckage were being examined for details such as its time in the water and its repair history that "might prove beyond any doubt" it was part of the missing plane.
He said the wreckage had been in the water for "too long" for experts to use it to target exactly where it came apart from the aircraft and how it floated in that direction.
"It doesn't provide any real detail about where we should be searching," Truss said.
Flight MH370 bound for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur disappeared on March 8, 2014 along with 239 passengers and crew.