What is it about Radio that produces politicians?
Hot on the heels of the recent announcement of 2AY‘s twin Mayors, Breakfast Show hosts Kylie King and Kevin Poulton, comes the news of a couple of long-time regional radio personalities, Nik (James) Lipovac and Peter Diskon, being elected as Councillors following the recent NSW Local Government Election.
Nik (pictured) is the Sales Manager and fill-in Announcer at Super Radio Mid North Coast, also known as Radio 531, who after 18 years living and working in Port Macquarie is now 1 of 6 new Councillors in the Hastings Region.
His former work colleague at 7AD in Devonport, Peter Diskon, likewise has found a seat on the Eurobodalla Shire Council on the South Coast.
Councillor Lipovac, who has used ‘Nik James’ as his moniker during his 25+ year radio career, says “Having to revert to my surname during the Campaign as per State Electoral Commission rules certainly didn’t help my chances as locals didn’t immediately associate Lipovac with the guy they knew from local radio.”
“I wasn’t even permitted to have my middle name James on the Ballot Paper so it was an uphill battle from the outset. I think my work in the community, in addition to winning a couple of Business Awards on behalf of Radio 531 and being named the Hastings Sporting Volunteer of the Year since joining the station in 2017 may have lifted my profile enough to get me over the line.”
Over the years 2GF‘s Richie Williamson (as Mayor) and Paul Covington have served on the Clarence Valley Council. At State Government Level former Radio Presenter Dugald Saunders represents the Dubbo Region and the high-profile John Tingle (who resides in Wauchope which is part of the Port-Hastings LGA) is a former member of the NSW Upper House.
Many would have also heard of the appointment of Perth’s multi-media man Basil Zempilas as Lord Mayor.
Nik says his interest in politics began during his time at 2LT in the mid to late 90s when former TV and Radio News Presenter the late Peter Andren was the Independent Member for the Federal Seat of Calare in the state’s Central West.
“As the Breakfast Announcer and Local News Presenter I greatly admired Peter’s work ethic and commitment to the community. I also spent every month attending the Greater Lithgow Council Meetings and saw first-hand how things operated at a local level,” said Nik.
Nik will continue in his role at Radio 531 while undertaking his Councillor duties