The Western Australian Treasurer, Troy Buswell, has resigned after an accident involving his ministerial car. The Premier, Colin Barnett, says Buswell has suffered a breakdown and has been hospitalised over recent weeks.
Speaking at a press conference in Perth, Barnett said he had accepted Buswell’s resignation and assumed the Treasurer’s portfolio himself. He said ministerial changes would be finalised by the end of this week.
According to newspaper reports, Buswell crashed his car the day before going on leave on February 23.
Buswell, 47, has been the member for Vasse in the W.A. Legislative Assembly since 2005. He was Leader of the Opposition from January to August 2008, before relinquishing the position to Barnett who had earlier announced his intention to retire.
Barnett became premier following the election of September 6, 2008 and Buswell became Treasurer. He resigned in April 2010 in the wake of allegations of improper use of ministerial expenses and an affair with a Greens MP. He returned to the Cabinet as Minister for Transport and Housing in December 2010. He became Treasurer again in July 2012.
Buswell’s political career has been marked by embarrassment and controversy, notably in 2008 when he was accused of jokingly sniffing the chair of a staff member. There have been several allegations of abuse of entitlements and a series of speeding infringements.
The next election in Western Australia is due next year.
- Listen to Barnett’s press conference (32m)