Premier Colin Barnett is showing increasing exasperation with the Troy Buswell crash affair, declaring this morning for the first time that he wishes his former treasurer would pay out of his own pocket for the damage caused when he wrecked his ministerial car after a wedding in February.
Mr Barnett told 6PR's Gary Adshead morning program today that Mr Buswell's reluctance to cooperate with RiskCover was "not helping".
"It's not helping. In fact, I wish he would just pay out the damage to the vehicle. I wish he would," the Premier said.
"I think that would satisfy the public. If another person had been doing it maybe that requirement wouldn't be there."
Mr Barnett said he was "more than unhappy" that one of Mr Buswell's victims - a 20-year-old woman whose Holden Barina was written off after Mr Buswell crashed into it - had a gag clause attached to her $3000 payout offer from the State Government's insurer RiskCover.
"I was more than unhappy, I was dismayed when I read that. But can I tell you ... that requirement of confidentiality has been lifted. It should never have been put in place," Mr Barnett said.
Asked why the gag clause was included in the payout offer, Mr Barnett said: "I've got no idea. It's beyond me. When I found out about that, I made it clear, not directly, that I didn't think that was an appropriate or acceptable restriction to put on a woman whose car had been damaged.
"It's fair enough that that's the end of the matter over the financial compensation, because once you settle, you settle.
"But how a requirement restricting comment to the media was put in place, as I say I was stunned when I heard that. I made my views known, and it's changed.
"I just cannot see any reason for it. I assure you ... there was no directive from myself or from government to do anything unusual."
Mr Barnett had previously said there was "nothing untoward" about the processing of the insurance claim and said things were being handled appropriately and without interference.
"I have allowed this to go on independently, I have not interfered in any of the police investigation or the RiskCover," Mr Barnett told 6PR.
"The only time I got involved was over the matter of that restriction on public comment from the young woman."
Mr Barnett said his departmental chief Peter Conran's "interest" in the matter had been interpreted and he was responsible for the vehicle as it was an asset that belonged to the Department of Premier and Cabinet.