Will Basil Zempilas be the face of Triple M?

Speculation has continued in the media industry this week that Perth’s new Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas might be the face of radio station Triple M when it launches in Perth in 2021.

Neither Zempilas or the station were commenting on the speculation this week, with the Lord Mayor telling The West Australian that he could not comment while still contracted to the Nine owned station 6PR.

“I’ve always said I enjoy radio and believe it can be an asset in my role as Lord Mayor but while I’m contracted to 6PR there is nothing to discuss,” Zempilas told The West Australian.

This week it was revealed that Hit92.9 would be axed and rebranded as Triple M which has a more rock and sports orientation. At the same time sister station Mix94.5 would be rebranded as Hit94.5.

Hit92.9’s current breakfast team of Xavier Ellis, Juelz Jarry and Pete Curulli will finish with the station at the end of November and a new Breakfast team will be announced. Speculation that Zempilas would be a central figure in the new team has been rumoured for months. He was previously a presenter on the station for 6 years, and has been winning the Breakfast ratings on his current station 6PR with co-presenter Steve Mills.

While Zempilas argues that there is many benefits to his role as Perth’s Lord Mayor if he is also a prominent figure in the media he continues to be asked about comments he made about gender continue to be raised when he makes public appearances.

Last week Zempilas pulled out of attending at an event run by TransFolk and Pride WA after discussions with the organisers. The Lord Mayor posted to his Twitter account saying that he would continue to strive to learn more about the issues faced by transgender people but that his presence at the event would not be productive.

At a recent town hall meeting the Lord Mayor was questioned about his comments by Pauli, a member of the local LGBTI community. Zempilas said his comments were an act of stupidity and he hoped that people could see that he had “owned” his mistake and he would be working hard to repair the damage.

“I’d like to think that people can see that I have owned my mistake and my error from that moment forward, and I’ve done that because I realised I’d made a mistake and done the wrong thing. So absolutely it’s my job now to repair that damage, and one of the things I’m doing is hosting forums like this where anyone can come along from our community and sit with me and talk to me.” the Lord Mayor said.

Zempilas said he realised that people would be skeptical of his statements for a long time and rebuilding trust with people in the community would take considerable work.

“Please give me a chance to show you.” Zempilas appealed to Pauli. “Please give me a chance to show you and other members of the trans community who I have had the pleasure to spend some time with over the last 10 days, because of the error of my ways, but I’m a better person already for what has taken place. I’m deeply regretful that it took an act of stupidity on my behalf to lead to that great communication.”

“It’s my job to be better. Please don’t judge me on the last two weeks solely, give me a chance to be better.” Zempilas said.

OIP Staff

Update: This article was updated for clarity.

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