Basil Zempilas, 2020 Perth Lord Mayor Election results perthnow city council

Basil Zempilas voted Lord Mayor of Perth

after years of commissioner-led council

  • Basil Zempilas was elected Mayor of Perth on Saturday night
  • During the ceremony on Monday, he will be sworn in
  • The victory was the first time residents chose the council in two years
  • Council was suspended in March 2018 and a government investigation started
  • The investigation discovered 'greed, negligence and mismanagement'

Radio and TV host Basil Zempilas was voted new Mayor of Perth. It was a tightly-fought race between television personality and retired journalist Di Bain, with just a few hundred votes separating the pair.

Basil Zempilas, pictured with Amy, won just over 29% of the vote.
Basil Zempilas, with his wife Amy, won just over 29% of the vote.

Mr Zempilas got 1,855 votes, or 29.44%, compared to Ms Bain's 1,571 and 24.94%.

Brodie McCulloch, Mark Gibson, Sandy Anghie, Bruce Reynolds, Tim Schwass accompanied the couple.

The new mayor and councilors will be sworn in at Monday afternoon 's Government House ceremony.

The election will see the first council since Perth's $7.2 m investigation.

The council was managed by commissioners for over two years after the local government minister suspended the current administration in March 2018 and opened an investigation into the area.

The two-year inquiry led to an explosive 2,000-page study alleging "systemic flaws" in the "poorly controlled and ineffective" council and administration.

Complete valid ballots for the mayoral election is 6,300, and 38 informal.

The City of Perth 's overall electorate turnout rose to 41%, up from 37% in 2017.

'Home stormed'

Mr Zempilas arrived with his wife Amy shortly after the mayoral result was announced.

"We started slowly but stormed home," Zempilas said.

"It's energizing and thrilling, and to be completely honest, it's hard to believe we're in that capacity."

Mr Zempilas said he was able to hit the ground with the soon-to-be-announced councilors.

"We now neglect stability and the City's elected council," he said.

"Now it's our responsibility to get involved with the ratepayers, visitors, and all others who want to spend time in Perth City."

Basil Zempilas, with his wife Amy
Basil Zempilas, with his wife Amy

Homelessness, begging, sightseeing

Mr Zempilas worked on a plan to offer social services to residents of the homeless City of Perth, including opening overnight city carparks as sleeping spots.

Before starting his campaign, he wrote about the need to expel street people from downtown, "forcibly if that's what it takes."

He has promised free on-duty police parking and petitioned the state government to place an additional 200 police in the city center and restore funds for a Native outreach initiative, Noongar Patrol.

He has vowed "zero tolerance" to anti-social behaviour, and amended by-laws to "fix loitering and begging."

He said he'd also improve the city's CCTV network.

'He's a bright person':

PM McGowan congratulated Mr Zempilas on his good election.

"It was an exciting day for him, but also an exciting day for Perth City," Mr McGowan said.

"It's been through a long stretch of tough times and I'm glad the election process has arrived and we've got a new government, new councilors and a new Lord Mayor.

"Basil is an exciting person, a bright person, and I'm sure he'll do a decent job."

Opposition Chief Liza Harvey said it was "fantastic" to see a council to be sworn in, but said the government could not carry on the City of Perth inquiry's $7.2 m expense to ratepayers.

"I hope they should forgive the ratepayers' expenses," said Ms Harvey.

"Wipe the slate clean, pardon the debt, and let [the council] make the City of Perth better."