Australia Thousands rally behind calls to sack Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas

03:16  31 october  2020
03:16  31 october  2020 Source:   watoday.com.au

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Perth Lord Mayor and media personality Basil Zempilas apologises to transgender people and admits he "forgot" his new role as an elected representative while Breakfast radio host Basil Zempilas was elected Perth Lord Mayor . He suggested on air that people's genders were defined by genitalia.

Basil Zempilas elected as new City of Perth Lord Mayor after years of commissioner-led council. By Jessica Warriner. Key points: Basil Zempilas beat his closest competition by a few hundred votes. He campaigned on addressing homelessness and anti-social behaviour.

An online petition calling for WA Premier Mark McGowan to sack Basil Zempilas over his controversial transgender comments has attracted four times as many signatures as votes he won to be elected Perth Lord Mayor.

Basil Zempilas is seen at Government House, where he was sworn in as Lord Mayor of Perth on October 19, 2020 in Perth, Australia. © Getty Images Basil Zempilas is seen at Government House, where he was sworn in as Lord Mayor of Perth on October 19, 2020 in Perth, Australia.

The petition comes as thousands of abusive posts lashing Mr Zempilas flooded social media, forcing his wife, brand ambassador Amy Zempilas, to shut down her Instagram account.

The petition, organised by Perth Scorpions Volleyball Club, gathered more than 8100 signatures in 48 hours. A similar petition calling for Perth's largest LGBTQ festival to be moved to neighbouring City of Vincent also attracted more than 3000 signatures.

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Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas makes 'bigoted and offensive comments' about transgender people on live radio.

Former Weekend Sunrise star Basil Zempilas has been elected the new Lord Mayor of Perth . The TV and radio personality beat his main competitor, former ABC Zempilas passionately continued: 'Now the job for us is to get busy and to do our very, very best for ratepayers, for residents, for visitors and

Mr Zempilas was elected Lord Mayor in October on 1855 votes.

Mr Zempilas said g------- determined a person's gender, before launching into more comments on transgender issues while hosting his breakfast show on Perth radio station 6PR - owned by Nine, also the owner of this masthead - on Wednesday morning.

"If you've got a p----, mate, you are a bloke. If you've got a vagina you are a woman. Game over," Mr Zempilas said.

The broadcaster, who is also a Channel 7 TV personality and a columnist for The West Australian, then offered transgender radio listeners a $100 voucher if they called in to share their thoughts.

Outraged social media users took to Twitter and Facebook to condemn Mr Zempilas' remarks, some threatening violence and sexual assault towards the sports commentator.

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Newly-elected Perth mayor Basil Zempilas has spoken out about his radical plan for a 'safer, cleaner, friendlier city' ahead of his swearing-in on Monday. The high-profile Weekend Sunrise sports presenter and former Channel Seven host was voted in as Lord Mayor of the city on Saturday night.

See more of Basil Zempilas for Perth Lord Mayor on Facebook. Want to host one at your local cafe, apartment or community group? Please send an email with your suggestion to campaign@ basil 2020.com.au and we'll book it in!

After his comments, Mr Zempilas' family home was also graffitied.

In its online petition, the volleyball club urged Mr McGowan to step in, saying Mr Zempilas should be boycotted over his "hateful, bigoted, and appalling" commentary.

"This is not how a Lord Mayor should be acting, this is not how any person in power or not in power even, should be portraying any other human being regardless of sex, gender, sexuality, race. This is 2020, not the 1950s," they said.

"The Premier should be getting involved with this and some action needs to be taken, his pathetic excuse of an apology is not good enough."

Mr Zempilas apologised on Thursday morning for his "inappropriate" comments, saying he had since learned "that is indeed how people live their lives".

"I didn't mean to cause any offence. One of our jobs as broadcasters is to entertain, I was trying to be funny - it was not funny - it was inappropriate and I apologise," he said.

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Basil added: 'Like everybody else is entitled to continue to work in their chosen professions if they stand for office, I think as long as I play fair and play Pictured with Bombers coach John Worsfold and Luke Darcy and Basil Zempilas during an AFL match at Optus Stadium in Perth . Basil is a famous face in

Media personality Basil Zempilas will be the next Lord Mayor of the City of Perth . The Seven West Media commentator won 29.44 per cent of the vote on Mr Zempilas ' swearing in as Lord Mayor will put an end to more than two years of council rule by commissioners Andrew Hammond, Gaye McMath

"I've learned that I've caused those people significant duress, and again that was not my intention, and what's more disappointing is I understand that that is indeed how people live their lives and I am aware of that and I was aware of that yesterday, but it was radio banter gone wrong.

"If I had the opportunity to take it back I would, but I can't."

Mr Zempilas' apology was shared by the City of Perth on social media as elected councillors expressed their support for the LGBTQ community on their personal profiles.

A protest against Mr Zempilas has been organised at Stirling Gardens for Saturday afternoon, with hundreds indicating on Facebook they would be attending.

LGBTQ activists have also revealed plans to attend next week's council meeting to call on elected members to move a censure motion against Mr Zempilas.

A spokesman for Seven West Media declined to comment.

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