Colin Barnett says there would be nothing unusual in former treasurer Troy Buswell's electorate officer driving the MP around while his driver's licence is suspended.

The Premier yesterday insisted Mr Buswell would not be entitled to a ministerial driver and would be given "no special provision".

But the Opposition says a taxpayer-funded electorate officer driving him is effectively a misuse of government resources.

"If anyone else loses their licence, they don't have staff members made available at public expense to drive them around," Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said.

Mr Buswell was disqualified from driving for a year and fined $3100 on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to 11 traffic offences arising from crashes near his Subiaco home on February 23.

Mr Barnett's comments came as police released the recording of a call to the WA Police Assistance Centre by the member of the public who reported Mr Buswell had driven erratically on Roberts Road and then crashed into the gate of his Subiaco home.

The witness, who later tipped off The West Australian and Seven News about the incident, told the operator that "the bloke was dolled up to the nines and clearly couldn't stand on his own two feet". Mr Barnett rejected Opposition calls for him to ask Mr Buswell to resign as the member for Vasse.

"There is nothing to bar him from being a Member of Parliament," he said. "He has not been charged or convicted of drink-driving - that is the fact - and Troy has been treated no differently than any other citizen by police or by the courts."

Asked whether taxpayers would have to pay for damages to Mr Buswell's ministerial car and other vehicles involved in the crashes, Mr Barnett would not rule it out, saying all government vehicles were insured and he would not interfere with the process.

"For other people who have had their vehicle damaged, whether they are insured or not, there may be some negotiations between insurers," Mr Barnett said.

Mr McGowan said taxpayers should not have to pay for damages. "If the Premier has any standards, he will insist Mr Buswell picks up all these costs," he said.

RiskCover, the Government's insurance arm, said it had asked for a police report and would consider claims on a case-by-case basis.

The West Australian

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