Election win: Basil Zempilas is the new Lord Mayor of Perth

Basil Zempilas is the new Lord Mayor of Perth following a closely fought election on Saturday. The TV and radio personality was named the winner of the local government election after he beat competitor Di Bain by just a few hundred votes.

Zempilas will give up his job hosting breakfast radio on 6PR, but will maintain his roles at with The West Australian and Channel 7 alongside the Lord Mayor position that adds an additional $184,784 to his earnings.

The final vote delivered a close result with former journalist Bain trailing just 284 behind the popular TV presenter. Bain and Sandy Anghie were the only Lord Mayor candidates who also nominated for a councilor position, both were successfully elected. They’ll be joined by Rebecca Gordon, Catherine Lezer, Liam Gobbert, Viktor Ko, well known restaurant owner Clive Bevan and former Bayswater councilor Brent Fleeton.

The new Lord Mayor and councilors will be sworn in at a ceremony at Government House on Monday, they will then hold a special council meeting on Tuesday to elect a Deputy Mayor. Di Bain has indicated she is not seeking the deputy position.

In an exclusive interview with The West Australian the Mayor-elect shared his vision for the city saying his goal was to create “a safer, cleaner, friendlier city”.

Zempilas said his government would draw a line in the sand between the past and the future.

“It’s a line in the sand. It’s a return to what the ratepayers and residents expect and that is good governance, strong leadership and a priority of them being first as it should be,” he told The West Australian.

Zempilas has nominated homeless as an issue at the top of his agenda. During the campaign he was dogged by comments he’d previously made, suggesting the solution to the challenge would be to move homeless people to facilities outside of the city centre.

The new Lord Mayor now says he’ll work to bring more facilities online within the city’s boundaries, and that activating carparks as homeless shelters in the evenings could be a potential solution.

The City of Perth has not had a local government headed by elected representatives for over two years. The former council was removed by the state government after a period of factional disputes and questionable conduct. The enquiry that followed cost $7.2 million and produced a 2,000 page report on the council’s operations, with some criminal charges also being laid.

OIP Staff

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