Buswell needs extended leave
Troy Buswell's ministerial car gets towed from his Subiaco home last week. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian

The Government will seek formal permission from the Legislative Assembly for Troy Buswell to be absent from Parliament beyond Thursday.

The period of leave the Government asks for could be revealing as speculation mounts over whether he will continue as the member for Vasse.

Under the standing orders governing the 124-year-old Lower House, members are in contempt if they miss more than nine consecutive sitting days.

Mr Buswell has missed six sitting days since his breakdown three weeks ago and three more are scheduled between tomorrow and Thursday.

How the Buswell drama unfolded |

A 10th day absent without permission and failure to pay a small fine would be punishable by up to two weeks in the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms, the officer of the Legislative Assembly who reports to the Speaker.

Leader of the House John Day said yesterday the Government intended to move the motion seeking a leave of absence for Mr Buswell some time this week.

Given the requirement to give a day's notice of motions, it will be moved either tomorrow or Wednesday and has to specify a duration for his absence.

The period the Government seeks could give an insight into how Mr Buswell's condition is progressing.

A week ago, when announcing Mr Buswell's resignation from Cabinet, Premier Colin Barnett said he hoped the former treasurer would continue as a backbencher and had "indicated a desire to get back to work".

But with police investigating Mr Buswell's drive home from a February 22 wedding where he was drinking and the prospect of charges and court appearances, some political hardheads doubt that will happen.

It emerged on Friday that Mr Buswell had hired legal representation, understood to be Laura Willox-Timpano, who was part of barrister Lloyd Rayney's successful defence team at his murder trial.

Opposition Whip David Templeman said it was convention not to oppose motions seeking a leave of absence for health reasons.

Under that scenario, Labor would continue to "pair" Mr Buswell by dropping one of their numbers during votes to compensate the Government for his absence.

The West Australian

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