How the Buswell drama unfolded
How the Buswell drama unfolded

Premier Colin Barnett this morning outlined a chronology of events leading up to the resignation of Mr Buswell from Cabinet yesterday.

Mr Barnett said he was advised by his chief-of-staff Brian Pontifex on Sunday February 23 that Mr Buswell would not be attending Cabinet the following day.

"The following day, Mr Buswell's chief-of-staff Rachael Turnseck came to see me, privately, prior to the Cabinet meeting," he said. "She advised me that Troy had had a breakdown, that he was not in good shape, very emotional, very upset and that he was in medical care."

Respecting Mr Buswell's relayed request for privacy, Mr Barnett told no-one in Cabinet or the Liberal Party room of the breakdown, except for Health Minister Kim Hames as both Deputy Premier and a medical practitioner.

Mr Buswell was given personal leave and Mr Barnett this morning thanked the media for respecting his call to give his treasurer some privacy.

"By about the middle of the week, I became aware that Troy had been admitted to hospital in Perth and then was transferred to a clinic in Sydney," he said. "He has spent over a week in hospital. He is no longer in hospital."

Mr Barnett said he told Cabinet after the long weekend last week that he would act in Mr Buswell's absence, which would be longer than the Premier originally expected, and was health related.

"After that I was under the impression Troy would return to work," he said.

Mr Barnett said Mr Buswell rang him yesterday about 4.30pm to resign immediately as a Cabinet minister. He was apologetic for the driving incident, which a member of Mr Barnett's staff had informed the Premier of only hours before at about 2pm.

"I was aware that information had been supplied to the police of erratic driving and also that there was some damage to the vehicle," Mr Barnett said. "(Mr Buswell) was extremely remorseful," he said. "He told me he had already made the decision to resign from Cabinet because of his health. With respect to what happened in the early hours of that Sunday morning, he said he didn't have much recollection, he was not denying anything at all.

"He made no excuses and could offer no reasonable explanation for what happened."

The West Australian

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