- Troy Buswell
Infobox MLA | name =Troy Buswell
Treasurer of Western Australia
order2 =Leader of the Opposition in
17 January 2008
4 August 2008
birth_date =Birth date and age|1966|3|19|df=y
Troy Raymond Buswell (born
19 March 1966) is a politician from Western Australiaand is currently the Liberal member for the Legislative Assembly seat of Vasse. He was Liberal leader and leader of the opposition for several months in 2008.
Buswell was born in the regional city of Bunbury,
Western Australia. He was educated at Busselton Senior High Schooland later attained a Bachelor of Economics at University of Western Australia, where in 1986 he won the W.G. Salter Memorial Prize in Economics, which is awarded annually to the top student enrolled for the degree of Bachelor of Economics.
In 1992, he became the director of Villa Carlotta Group, which provided bus tours in the Busselton region, and also became involved with the Cape Naturaliste Tourism Association. On
14 November 1992, he married Margaret Cummins, with whom he had two sons.
He served as a councillor with the
Shire of Busseltonin 1995–1996, and again in 2001–2003, before becoming its Shire President at the 2003 local government elections. He stepped down to contest the state election for the Liberal Party in the seat of Vasse, which is centred on Busselton. Some controversy arose over his preselection as he was chosen over the sitting member, Bernie Masters, who blamed then-deputy leader Dan Sullivan for the decision, quit the party and ran for the seat as an independent. [cite news|title=Another top Lib walks out in anger|date= 17 February 2004|last=Martin|first=Roger|work= The Australian|page=6] However, Buswell won the contest by 209 votes. [cite web|url=http://www.electionswa.com/content/2CP_Vasse.htm|title=District of Vasse - Two Candidate Preferred Results, 26 February 2005 State General Election|author=Western Australian Electoral Commission|date= 30 November 2005|accessdate=2008-05-03]
With the unexpected resignation of Deputy Opposition Leader
Paul Omodeiin October 2005, Buswell was elected by the party room to replace Omodei in the role, serving under Matt Birney.
By August 2007, polling numbers had fallen below 14%, and media commentators speculated that Omodei would be toppled and replaced with Buswell within six months if he could not improve polling by the end of the year. [cite news|title=Does anybody want to lead the Liberals?|last=Spagnolo|first=Joe|date=
5 August 2007|work=The Sunday Times|page=14] [cite news|url=http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/08/09/2000913.htm|title=Omodei: Federal Liberal impacting on my polling|date= 9 August 2007|work=ABC Online|accessdate=2008-05-03] [cite news|title=Omodei under pressure|last=Burrell|first=Andrew|work= Australian Financial Review|page=14] However, Buswell was being investigated by the Corruption and Crime Commissionover allegations that he had met former Liberal powerbroker Noel Crichton-Browne, who was working as a lobbyist in conjunction with former premier Brian Burke, in a carpark to discuss the Canal Rocks development at Smiths Beach in Yallingup while he was still mayor of Busselton. On 9 October 2007, he was cleared by the CCC of any wrongdoing and pressure upon Omodei immediately increased. [cite news|title=Burke on attack over CCC report|last=O'Brien|first=Amanda|date= 11 October 2007|page=6|work= The Australian] Former party leader Colin Barnett, however, dismissed its significance, claiming Buswell would lead the Liberal Party at some future point but did not yet have the experience. [cite news|title=Buswell wrong for next poll: Barnett|last=Banks|first=Amanda|work= The West Australian|date= 11 October 2007|page=7]
28 November 2007, just after the 2007 federal election which saw a new Labor government under Kevin Ruddcome into power, rumours of a push within the Liberal Party to install Buswell as state leader were reported in the media. [cite news|url=http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/28/2103485.htm|title=Omodei defiant as MPs push for leadership change|date= 28 November 2007|accessdate=2008-05-03] Omodei, however, promised to "land a good right hook" on anyone asking him to stand aside,cite news|title=Omodei threatens to go the biff|last=O'Brien|first=Amanda|work= The Australian|date= 29 November 2007|page=7] and asked for a "fair go" while announcing a swathe of new policies for the Party going forward. [cite news|url=http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2007/s2106926.htm|title=Leadership tensions for WA Liberals|last=Weber|first=David|date= 1 December 2007|work=AM (ABC)|accessdate=2008-05-03] [cite news|title=Brutal reality looms for a likeable but lacklustre leader of party under siege|last=Taylor|first=Robert|work=The West Australian|date= 1 December 2007|page=4] On 23 December 2007, it was reported that Buswell was moving his family to Shenton Park in Perth's inner western suburbs due to lengthy periods of time away from his family. [cite news|title=Buswell closer to Lib base|last=Spagnolo|first=Joe|work=The Sunday Times|date= 23 December 2007|page=13]
Leader of the Opposition
17 January 2008, Buswell made a challenge for the leadership of the state Liberal party and after a party room meeting won the position from Paul Omodei. [cite news|url=http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/01/17/2140726.htm|title=Buswell new WA Liberal leader|date= 17 January 2008|work=ABC Online|accessdate=2008-01-17]
In the following media conference, he refused to comment on allegations relating to a drunken night at parliament, where he snapped the back of a female Labor party staffer's bra-strap as a "party trick", and other "inappropriate and sexist behaviour".cite news|url=http://www.thewest.com.au/aapstory.aspx?StoryName=478389|title=WA MP embroiled in chair sniffing claim|date=28 April, 2008]
27 April 2008further allegations were published, these included the sniffing of a chair of a female Liberal staffer as well as claims he crawled around on his hands and knees pretending to be the staffer's husband. Buswell first refused to deny the allegations, and then subsequently admitted to the act. [ [http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/leaders-seatsniffing-act/2008/04/29/1209234841901.html Seat-sniffing leader breaks down - National - smh.com.au] ] The woman later revealed Buswell "was groaning and writhing in sexual pleasure". [ [http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23657734-5006789,00.html Buswell 'groaned with pleasure' | The Australian] ]
As well as these incidents, Buswell has been accused by retiring Liberal MLA for Carine,
Katie Hodson-Thomas, of making sexist remarks to her. [cite news|title=Bad boy Buswell: Honestly, I've changed|last=Lampathakis|first=Paul|work=The Sunday Times|date= 20 January 2008]
MLA for Roe
Graham Jacobscalled for a leadership spill motion, which took place on 5 May 2008, [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/05/03/2234488.htm Buswell welcomes leadership spill - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] ] but the motion failed and Buswell remained leader. [ [http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,23646277-948,00.html Chair-sniffing Troy Buswell remains Liberal leader | PerthNow] ]
Revelations also came out of Buswell "squirrel gripping" (grabbing the testicles of) Liberal MLA
Murray Cowperin parliament. Cowper did not deny the incident, saying "As far as I'm concerned the matter's dead and it's time for everyone to move on, the media included." [ [http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23710071-2,00.html Troy Buswell accused of grabbing MP's testicles | NEWS.com.au] ]
Buswell faced a fresh crisis when it was revealed in a
Corruption and Crime Commission(CCC) report on 10 June 2008that a motion moved in Parliament by his staunchest backer, Shadow Minister for Road Safety John McGrath, had been provided to him by lobbyists Brian Burkeand Julian Grill. Burke had written the motion on behalf of a company that sold radar detectors. The CCC report said Mr McGrath's claim he was unaware of Burke's commercial interest in the issue strained credibility. Buswell backed McGrath by claiming that he had been cleared of misconduct while McGrath refused to stand down. [cite web|url=http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,23845970-5017005,00.html|title=Buswell backs John McGrath over Burke link|date=June 11, 2008|work=PerthNow|author=Perpitch, Nicolas]
Three days later, Buswell sacked the Shadow Police Minister Rob Johnson after Johnson said he could not serve in the Shadow Cabinet with McGrath as Shadow Minister for Road Safety. [cite web|url=http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,23853723-948,00.html|title=Rob Johnson sacked from Liberal front bench|date=June 13, 2008|work=PerthNow|author=Spagnolo, Joe]
Buswell resigned as Liberal leader and leader of the opposition on 4 August 2008 [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/08/04/2323421.htm Buswell announces resignation: ABC News 4/8/2008] ] . He was replaced by
Colin Barnett[ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/08/06/2325742.htm Barnett to demand loyalty as leader: ABC News 6/8/2008] ] .
After resigning as leader, Buswell was granted a place on the Opposition front bench as Shadow Treasurer under new leader Colin Barnett. Following the
2008 Western Australian state electionand the National Party agreeing to vote with the Liberal Party in the hung parliament, Buswell has been named as Treasurer in Colin Barnett's new Cabinet [cite web|url=http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/09/15/2364846.htm|title=Barnett set to expand Cabinet|date=September 15, 2008|work=ABC News|] .
* "Who's Who in Australia" (2007), p.376
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