Tony Abbott has dispatched Governor-General Peter Cosgrove to the Netherlands to receive the bodies of the Australians killed in the MH17 attack.
Governor-General Peter Cosgrove is travelling to the Netherlands to receive the bodies of the Australians killed in the MH17 disaster.
A train carrying the remains of the victims recovered from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane reached the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Tuesday night.
The bodies will soon be transferred to the Netherlands for identification and eventual repatriation.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he has asked Sir Peter to travel to the Netherlands.
He will be there for the arrival of Dutch and Australian aircraft carrying the remains.
“It is important for the families and for our nation that our people be received by one of our own,” Mr Abbott said in a statement on Wednesday.
Mr Abbott says the identification of bodies could take some time.
“The task of identifying the victims is a process that must be conducted carefully and accurately,” he said.
“By its very nature, it may take some weeks before we can honour the dead by returning them to those they loved and those that loved them. But we will bring them home.”
Mr Abbott says the government will transport victims’ families to the Netherlands to accompany their loved ones home, if they so wish.