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Basil Zempilas elected as new City of Perth Lord Mayor after years of commissioner-led council

Radio and TV host Basil Zempilas is chosen as the new Lord Mayor of Perth, in the first election in more than two years since the former council was stood down by the State Government.

Radio and TV host Basil Zempilas has been elected the new Lord Mayor of Perth.

Key points:
  • Basil Zempilas beat his closest competition by a few hundred votes
  • He campaigned on addressing homelessness and anti-social behaviour
  • Voter turnout leapt to 41 per cent, up from 37 per cent in 2017

It was a tightly-fought race between the media personality and former journalist Di Bain, with the pair separated by just a few hundred votes.

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. 

The pair were followed by Brodie McCulloch, Mark Gibson, Sandy Anghie, Bruce Reynolds and Tim Schwass. 

The new Mayor and councillors will be sworn-in at a ceremony at Government House on Monday afternoon.

The election will see the first council installed since the $7.2m City of Perth inquiry.

The council has been run for more than two years by commissioners after the Local Government Minister suspended the existing administration in March 2018, and launched an inquiry into the City.

The two-year-long investigation led to an explosive 2,000 page report, which found "systemic failings" in the "poorly governed and dysfunctional" council and administration.

There were 6,300 total valid votes for the mayoral race, and 38 informal.

The total voter turnout for the City of Perth leapt to 41 per cent, up from 37 per cent in 2017.

'We stormed home'

Mr Zempilas arrived at Council House with his wife Amy shortly after the mayoral result was declared.

"We were slow starters but stormed home," Mr Zempilas said.

"It's energising and it's exciting, and to be perfectly honest it's hard to believe we're here in this capacity."

Mr Zempilas said he was ready to hit the ground running with the soon-to-be-announced councillors.

"We now have the leadership and the elected council the City has been missing," he said.

"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."

Homelessness, begging and loitering in sights

Mr Zempilas campaigned on a platform of providing support services to homeless City of Perth residents, including 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".

He has also pledged to give on-duty police free parking and petition the State Government to locate an extra 200 police in the city centre, and reinstate funding for an Aboriginal outreach program, the Noongar Patrol.

He has also pledged "zero tolerance" of anti-social behaviour and to review by-laws to "address loitering and begging".

He said he would also extend the city's CCTV network.

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