Basil Zempilas, a well-know TV and radio personality who was named Kastelorizian of the Year in 2018 has been elected the new Lord Mayor of Perth.
The fight was a close one between the esteemed Greek- Australian and his fellow media personality and former journalist Di Bain.
Mr Zempilas received 1,855 votes, or 29.44 per cent of the vote, compared to Ms Bain’s 1,571 and 24.94 per cent followed by Brodie McCulloch, Mark Gibson, Sandy Anghie, Bruce Reynolds and Tim Schwass.
The new council -the first to be installed following the City of Perth inquiry back in 2018- will be sworn-in at a ceremony at Government House on Monday.
Accompanied by his wife, Amy, Mr Zempilas arrived at Council House after the result was officially announced saying: “We were slow starters but stormed home”.
“It’s energising and it’s exciting, and to be perfectly honest it’s hard to believe we’re here in this capacity.”
“We now have the leadership and the elected council the City has been missing. Now the job is for us to get busy for the ratepayers, residents, and all those who choose to spend time in the City of Perth.”
Mr Zempilas’ main campaign pain points providing support services to the city’s homeless and suggested opening city carparks up at night as places for them to sleep.
Prior to launching his campaign, he wrote of the need to remove homeless people from the city centre, “forcibly, if that’s what it takes”.
In addition, the new Mayor pledged to extend the city’s CCTV network, to give on-duty police free parking, while asking State Government to station an extra 200 police in the city centre pledging to show “zero tolerance” of anti-social behaviour and to “address loitering and begging”.
Finally, he promised to push and reinstate funding for Noongar Patrol, an Aboriginal outreach program.
Mr Zempilas is the second Greek Australian Mayor of a major Australian city following Darwin’s Kon Vatskalis.