Barilaro: ‘I worry about Gladys’s mental health’
Deputy Premier John Barilaro considered quitting politics entirely after sparking a coalition civil war over protection laws designed to protect koala habitat, before taking four weeks mental health leave where at one point he "felt like I was never coming back" after hitting "rock bottom".
Mr Barilaro returned from leave on Wednesday after his doctors gave him the green light to go back to work.
"During that time, over the past four weeks I've learned a lot about myself, I've learned a lot about my past, I've learned a lot about my wiring and my DNA," he said.
"I remember being at home, struggling to get out of bed. I know I had a doctor's appointment on a particular day and it was a challenge, and you think you can't get out of it.
"I didn't think I was going to come back," he said.
Mr Barilaro said he considered quitting politics when he addressed the National Party faithful after his threats to blow up the Coalition over koala protection rules, but has put off a decision about his future until March next year.
After Premier Gladys Berejiklian was drawn into an ICAC investigation into Daryl Maguire, her Deputy declared he is worried about her mental health.
Mr Barilaro said it would have been "very hard" on Ms Berejiklian to have her relationship with Mr Maguire under scrutiny.
"I worry about her mental health, and her well being," he said.
Mr Barilaro said he supports the Premier "100 per cent".
"She's always been a person that's hardworking and a person of integrity," he said.
However in comments that could be perceived as veiled criticism of Ms Berejiklian, he said that it "should always raise alarm bells" in a politician if another MP raises concerns "about a particular project, or to try to fast track and take shortcuts on projects".
Mr Barilaro also said he will launch an investigation into how details of his driving offences were obtained by The Daily Telegraph.
"I'll talk to my office today but we've been preparing all the information and will seek the right and appropriate avenue for that investigation," he said.
Originally published as Barilaro: 'I worry about Gladys's mental health'