Australian Greens leader Bob Brown.
Australian Greens leader Bob Brown.

Brennan case a strong Govt lesson

SENATOR Bob Brown said huge lessons had been learnt by the government in dealing with a hostage situation like Nigel Brennan’s.

“When it gets to kidnapping involving criminal organisations in failed states, no-one in government is trained for that,” he said.

When Senator Brown met with a war correspondent, who told him of Mr Brennan’s situation as a hostage in Somalia, he took action.

He wrote letters in May to the federal government and began to make telephone calls to garner financial support for the family.

On June 23, the senator had his first telephone conversation with the Brennan family, who told him neither they nor Amanda Lindhout’s family had enough money to pay the ransom.

After months of work, a telephone call to Dick Smith yielded positive results.

Mr Brown also decided to donate money towards the ransom payment, but said he had to think hard about where his money would end up, and what it would be used for once it was in the kidnapper’s hands.

“I’ve already had some criticism (for donating). I’m not sorry at all. I’m very happy to have helped in this situation,” he said.

“I think it’s been a terrible situation for everyone involved. The main thing is to wish Nigel the best in getting back on his feet.”

He declined to reveal the amount he donated.