Paul McCartney tickets bought for homeless given to Salvation Army leader’s daughter

Major Brendan Nottle defends actions over Melbourne donation but says: We get it wrong sometimes

The leader of the Salvation Army in Australia has defended his organisations actions after his daughter was given donated Paul McCartney concert tickets that were supposed to be for homeless people.

The seven tickets were initially given to homeless people by the Beatles fan Chris McDonald. But four hours before the 5 December show, two of the ticket holders were unable to attend and returned them, the Salvation Army major Brendan Nottle said.

At the last minute, two tickets were returned and [a manager] made the decision to give them to my daughter [Ash Nottle]. It had absolutely had nothing to do with me, he told 3AW on Thursday. The manager did the ring-around of other homeless people and volunteer staff and wasnt able to move them because it was so late.

He said his daughter had accepted the tickets under the premise that she would be attending to look out for the five homeless people at the concert. Ash Nottle attended the concert with her partner.

Brendan Nottle in front of Parliament House after finishing a walk from Melbourne to Canberra to bring attention to the plight of homeless people. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP
The Salvation Army will reimburse the donor for all seven tickets, Nottle said, adding that concert tickets were not an appropriate donation for homeless people.

When youre working with homeless people, to be blunt, do homeless people need tickets to Paul McCartney or do they need a roof over their head?, he said.

We are not Ticketmaster, we are not concert promoters, we dont do that stuff and we get it wrong sometimes, you know.

Nottle added that the situation could have been handled better and the organisation would absolutely learn from this.

The tragic thing is the daughter thats involved is one of the most giving people I know. In this work you dont do this stuff for the kickbacks.

McDonald told Fairfax Media he still supported the charity. They do an awful lot of good for people and for the homeless, he said. I have been a recipient of their relief so I know how important the work they do is, but the golden rule is never to dip your hand into the donations it calls the integrity of the entire organisation into dispute.

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