Basil Zempilas hosts Ask Me Anything session on Triple M
Basil Zempilas (left) with co-hosts Jenna Clarke and Xavier Ellis
Triple M Perth’s Breakfast co-host Basil Zempilas used his radio show this morning to host an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session with the residents of Perth in his capacity as Lord Mayor.
Zempilas has been in the Mayoral hot seat for eight months and kicked off his new radio gig at the newly launched Triple M in January.
Before callers dialled through, Zempilas said the city was on a “journey of change”.
“There’s been some tricky conditions. COVID has not helped, and we do have a homelessness crisis around the metropolitan area at the moment, which makes life difficult for our retailers and our residents – but we’re working hard on that,” he said.
He said the mayor’s job had already surpassed his expectations, but denied he was leveraging the position to pursue larger political goals.
“I never got into this role with a view to go into any other level of government or politics,” he told a caller, Sarah. “I was not thinking State, I’m not thinking Federal, and I’m still not. Do you sometimes think because you’re in that political space, ‘How might I have handled that?’ Or ‘What might I say if that situation came my way?’ Yes, I think you do.
“But no different, for example, when I’m driving along and I listen to Nova or 6PR or something else pops up at me that I’m not used to hearing. I listen to the radio announcer and go, ‘Oh, that was a good way to do that’, or ‘Maybe I would have done this’. So you think about it in that way.
“But is it my ambition? No. Did I want to become Lord Mayor to become Premier? No. Do I want to be Prime Minister? No. Do I want to be the best Lord Mayor I can be? Yes.”
Zempilas also got fired up about “big corporates” who have staff working from home and told them to “pull their heads in”.
“It is a joke that people are being sent hime to work from home,” he said, claiming Perth’s residents live in the safest place in the world.
In addition to his lofty goals for the City of Perth, Zempilas has big hopes for his radio show. He’s flagged his intentions for it to be #1 within five years. In the most recent radio ratings survey, the show was up 0.2 points to 8.6%, behind market leaders Nova (15.0%), SCA stablemate Mix (12.1%), his former employer 6PR (11.3%), and 96FM (10.0%).