No change despite close race

Di Bain and Basil Zempilas were rivals for the lord mayoral job in the 2020 campaign, but a year on Mr Zempilas says “Cr Bain will be an outstanding deputy and I look forward to working with her”. Photo via City of Perth.

A CLOSE race leading to a next-day recount has confirmed Perth city council’s lineup will not change, with incumbents Liam Gobbert, Clyde Bevan, Brent Fleeton, and Viktor Ko returned amid a field of 16 contenders.

As the lower four winners of the eight who took office at the 2020 election, those councillors had just a one-year term, but have now won full four-year stints.

It was a close race: An initial count saw Cr Ko getting the fourth seat with 1,302 votes, while contender Raj Doshi was close behind with 1295. 

Returning officer Steve Tweedie announced an adjournment at around 11pm Saturday night “to allow for a verification of the result and the determination of the outcome of the election”, and a next day recount for October 17 was immediately planned. 

Fluctuate

Almost every candidate had their total fluctuate by a few points but the final count saw Cr Ko eke out one more for 1303 while Ms Doshi’s vote dipped to 1291. 

Cr Gobbert got the high score with 1,793 votes, Cr Bevan got 1705, and Cr Fleeton got 1,654. 

Lord mayor Basil Zempilas, whose term runs til 2023, said the return of all four incumbents was a “massive vote of confidence in our team”, saying the council elected 12 months ago “has done exactly what we said we would do – work cooperatively, responsibly and transparently for the people of Perth”.

After being sworn in councillors elected Di Bain to be deputy mayor, taking over from Sandy Anghie.

Compared to the gift-a-thon that was the 2020 lord mayoral election, declared gifts were pretty modest at this non-mayoral election.

Candidates declared around $134,000 of gifts in 2020 with the lion’s share being gifts to lord mayoral candidates, while the declared gift total this time was $15,500. 

by DAVID BELL

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