Demands for fresh coronial inquiry into the death of Mark Anthony Haines on the 35th anniversary of his passing


The Greens have joined calls from family and community for a fresh coronial inquest into the mysterious death of 17-year-old Aboriginal boy Mark Anthony Haines in Tamworth. Mark was discovered on train-tracks 35 years ago and the investigation by Police and the Coroner at the time failed to explain the circumstances that led to his death. 

Greens MP and spokesperson for First Nations Justice, Sue Higginson said “Mark’s family have been trying to get the truth about what happened to Mark 35 years ago and it’s time for the Coroner to re-examine the evidence and witnesses so that the truth about this tragedy can finally be understood,

“It is clear to all that the investigation into the circumstances of Mark’s death was compromised and that there must be a new inquiry before more evidence or witnesses are lost to time and age,

“35 years is too long to wait for the truth and we need this new inquiry to find out exactly what happened to Mark,” Ms Higginson said.

Uncle Don Craigie has provided the following comments.

“After 35 years, there are still no answers to the mysterious death of 17-year-old Aboriginal boy, Mark Anthony Haines. He was found dead on the railway tracks 8 kilometres south of Tamworth on the 16th of January 1988. While the Country celebrated the 200th Bicentenary of Australia, Our boy Mark was lying in the Tamworth morgue waiting for a second autopsy to be performed on him. His family had to ask for this to make sure nothing had been missed. The investigation that was conducted into his death has been shown to be completely inadequate and we cannot get the answers or the closure that we need until this is resolved.

“This has taken too long; we needed this fresh investigation by the coroner to examine the evidence and all of the witnesses that are still around. With a fresh coronial inquiry and subsequent investigations by the Tamworth Local Command and the state homicide squad, we are hopeful that those investigations may shed light on exactly what happened to Mark. We have been grieving for 35 years and we will continue to grieve for the loss of Mark,

“We maintain that Mark has met with foul play. That was our position 35 years ago and subsequently, nothing has changed our minds. What we are seeking is the truth of what happened to Mark,

“I would like to thank everyone that has stood with us and beside us through these many years in our struggle for the truth about Mark’s death to be brought to light. We just want to know the truth of what has happened to Mark, ‘our boy’."