EXCLUSIVE: Troy Buswell quits
Former Treasurer Troy Buswell has announced he is quitting politics. Picture: Steve Ferrier/ The West Australian

Premier Colin Barnett said today he was not surprised by Troy Buswell's resignation.

The former treasurer saw the Premier yesterday and told him he was resigning immediately.

Mr Barnett told ABC radio this morning that Mr Buswell was very emotional yesterday.

"I had expected it (the resignation) for some time," Mr Barnett said, but he thought it would be at the end of the year.

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"I think he showed courage. I think he did it in a very dignified way."

Mr Barnett said he told Mr Buswell that history would be kinder to him.

The Premier said no-one excused Mr Buswell's behaviour.

He said that as a minister Mr Buswell had done nothing wrong but that it was his personal conduct that was the problem.

In an exclusive interview with The West Australian yesterday, Mr Buswell revealed he had quit, saying public life is not compatible with the on-going management of his bipolar depression.

Mr Buswell handed a resignation letter to Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Michael Sutherland yesterday morning and informed the Premier yesterday afternoon.

The resignation – which comes six months after he was forced to quit Cabinet after revelations of a series of car crashes after he was drinking at a Kings Park wedding -- has already taken effect and will trigger a by-election in his Busselton-based seat of Vasse within weeks.


In an exclusive interview with The West Australian late yesterday, the former treasurer said he had lost the passion to continue on as an MP.

“For some time I have been thinking about my long-term future in politics – would this be my last term or wouldn’t it – and I think that’s a logical question that politicians ask themselves,” Mr Buswell said.

“I always remind myself that when I came into the job I said I wasn’t here to be a career politician. But things changed in the last six months, and what is obvious to me, now that I am feeling a lot better, is that public life and the way I have to manage the medical condition that I’ve got are just not compatible.

“In many ways, regrettably, I feel I’ve lost the passion for the job and the desire. And to continue is just definitely not in my best interest, and I don’t think it’s in the Liberal Party or the Government’s best interests. And I know for a fact it’s not in my constituents' best interests.”

Mr Buswell maintained his refusal to discuss the events of February 22 and 23, which led to him being charged with 11 offences by WA Police. An early guilty plea saw him fined $3100 and his drivers’ licence suspended for 12 months.

“I’m just not going to revisit that in any detail,” he said.

“Everybody knows that damage was caused to motor vehicles. That’s been investigated thoroughly, I’ve been fined, had my licence suspended, paid for the damage, and as far as I’m concerned that event is done and I have to move on from it.

The badly damaged car is towed away.

“I’m not proud of what happened that night. I was mortified when the extent of that damage was made public. I get up every single day and thank God I didn’t hurt anybody and I didn’t hurt myself. Because at the end of the day, whilst it was not a good outcome, you can fix up a couple of banged up vehicles, but you can’t fix up people.

“I’m not proud of that at all, it’s something I just have to accept happened.”

Premier Colin Barnett at a press conference where he announced Troy Buswell's resignation from Cabinent

Mr Buswell has told associates in recent weeks that he has found himself “bored” on the backbench but he said returning to work was an important part of his recovery.

His resignation will trigger a by-election in Vasse, a seat he has held since 2005 and has been held virtually continuously by the Liberal Party since its creation in 1950.

With a margin of 21.2 per cent, Vasse is one of the safest seats in the State and Liberal Party powerbrokers will be hoping to preselect a candidate who has the talent to be a future senior minister or premier.

The West Australian

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