Wednesday marked 31 years since the death of Mr Haines as family members, once again, protested outside the Tamworth police station and called for a coronial inquiry.
“We’re not so happy with the response we’ve been getting from the investigators,” Mr Haines’ uncle Don Craigie said.
“There would have been other people spoken to and they, quite possibly, could be compelled to attend the coroner’s hearing and compelled to give evidence.”
Greens MP and Aboriginal justice spokesman David Shoebridge said his office would call on the coroner to investigate four “strikingly similar” cases.
“Steve; Mark; another young man called Buddy Kelly, a 16-year-old Aboriginal boy in Kemspey,” he said.
“And another family of a young man who was found dead on the train tracks at Werris Creek just months after Mark’s case.
“All four cases, Aboriginal men found dead on the railway tracks; all four cases had a very, at best, a summary investigation by police; all were written off as suicide.
“That is a grossly inadequate outcome.”
Mr Shoebridge said there should be a single hearing to investigate all four cases.
If there was an inquiry opened by the coroner, it could provide the breakthrough the families are desperately seeking in the pursuit of closure.
“Unlike the police, if witnesses are unwilling to co-operate, they can be forced and compelled to give evidence in a coronial court, which might make all the difference,” Mr Shoebridge said.
Oxley Police District acting crime manager Jason Darcy said its investigation into Mark Haines’ death was ongoing and remained a high priority.
“It is protracted and if it takes a length of time to do that, then it will have to be that long,” he said.
“I’m not going to apologise for the way it’s going.
“There’s no quick fix for these things. They are protracted and, if we rushed through, then we would be criticised for rushing and missing things.”
The Tamworth detectives will also prepare a report for the State Crime Command’s unsolved homicide squad.
Last year a $500,000 reward was posted by NSW Police for new information.
Detective Acting Inspector Darcy said new leads had arisen since the reward was posted.
“There is information that has come forward,” he said.
“Our investigators are still following those lines of inquiry.”