Western Australia Treasurer Buswell Resigns After ‘Breakdown’

Western Australia Treasurer Troy Buswell has resigned from Cabinet following a breakdown, two months before he was due to deliver the state budget.

Buswell is still receiving medical treatment after more than a week in hospital, state Premier Colin Barnett told reporters today. Barnett confirmed media reports that Buswell had crashed a ministerial car into a gate last month and had been emotional and upset.

“He’s had a breakdown, he’s been hospitalized for about 10 days,” Barnett said. “He’s facing up to reality.”

As Treasurer, Buswell was spearheading the state’s attempt to regain a AAA credit rating after it was cut one level by Standard & Poor’s in September. The state government said in December it expected an operating surplus of A$437 million ($395 million) in 2013-14, about a A$50 million improvement on the surplus forecast in August.

Buswell lost the leadership of the state Liberal Party in 2008 after he admitted sniffing a female staffer’s chair in Parliament House. He stepped down from the front bench in 2010 after an affair with a lawmaker in the Greens Party.

Barnett said he would be sworn in as acting treasurer and intended to appoint a replacement this week.

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