Basil Zempilas confirms plans to become Perth’s next lord mayor

Headshot of Kate Emery
Kate EmeryThe West Australian
Email Kate Emery
Media personality Basil Zempilas will run for Perth’s lord mayor.
Camera IconMedia personality Basil Zempilas will run for Perth’s lord mayor. Credit: WA News

Basil Zempilas has publicly confirmed Perth’s worst kept secret — that he is now a “live chance” to become Perth’s next lord mayor.

Having used his breakfast radio slot to confirm that the biggest gig in Perth local government was in his sights, the Channel Seven personality said the delayed mayoral election had opened the door to running.

“I’ve always said I know I have the passion but I haven’t been sure I have the time,” he told The Weekend West. “I’m still not certain I do —and I’ve only had the briefest of conversations with my employers — but the extra delay of fresh elections does now open the door.

“If the election were prior to the Tokyo Olympics — I’m doing opening and closing ceremony and calling the swimming for Seven — I was no chance. But with the election likely to be late October at the earliest, the door has opened.”

Perth’s council elections are not expected to be held until late this year because of delays with the inquiry into dysfunction at the council. Zempilas, who is employed by Seven West Media, publisher of The Weekend West, said if he could make it work with his existing commitments, “I’m up for the fight”.

“I live in the city, work in the city and walk through the city every day and I, like all West Aussies, expect our capital to be safer, cleaner, cheaper, more accessible, more vibrant and friendlier,” he said.

I live in the city, work in the city and walk through the city every day and I, like all West Aussies, expect our capital to be safer, cleaner, cheaper, more accessible, more vibrant and friendlier - Basil Zempilas

Zempilas could face off against three suspended Perth councillors: Steve Hasluck, Reece Harley and James Limnios, who have not ruled out running in the mayoral election.

Former ABC journalist and Activate Perth chairwoman Di Bain, who previously ran unsuccessfully for council, is also a possible candidate. She said last year she would consider her circumstances when the election was called.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails