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Surfer’s family no closer to answers over Bali death

Mark Ovenden in Bali.
Mark Ovenden in Bali. Contributed

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Bob Carr has asked Australian consulate staff to make immediate further inquiries into the Balinese police investigation of the violent death of Sunshine Coast surfer Mark Ovenden.

Mr Ovenden, 33, of Alexandra Headland was brutally bashed and strangled and his body dumped on a rural track in Bali 12 months ago.

A spokesman for the Minister said while Australian Embassy staff did not have jurisdiction to intervene in proceedings or to conduct their own investigation, they did encourage local authorities to resolve outstanding cases as quickly as possible.

Mr Ovenden's mother, Christine, said yesterday she no longer held a lot of hope that she and Mark's sister Kellie would get answers.

She remains angry at the lack of support she received from the Department of Foreign Affairs when she went to Bali to retrieve her son's body and to inquire about the police investigation.

Ms Ovenden said just practical assistance like providing an interpreter would have been a huge help.

She questioned why the government could find $60m to build refugee detention centres but could not look after Australian families dealing with trauma. The Minister's spokesman said the consulate had advised it did help the Ovendens.

The story of his tragic end featured in a Channel Nine special on Bali on Sunday.

Ms Ovenden said she gave the documentary crew working on the story a letter of authorisation to pick up his personal effects from Balinese police but the advice given by the Australian consulate as to where they should go was wrong.

And when she asked DFAT for an address or map of where her son's body was found she was told they "didn't do that".

"We were told the police had said if we needed that information we would have to get a lawyer,'' Ms Ovenden said.

"It's disgraceful. It's been like that the whole time.''

Mark Ovenden's body was found on June 21, 2012, beside a rural lane adjacent his motorcycle.

His wallet and possessions had not been touched.

He had not been seen by friends since he left his accommodation at Bingin on the night of June 19.

Ms Ovenden and her daughter Kellie flew to Bali to claim the body and conduct a cremation ceremony before returning Mark's ashes to Australia.

Topics:  bali, bob carr, foreign affairs, mark ovenden


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