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MEDIA RELEASE: Pride in Peel response to Basil Zempilas’s comments on 6PR

29th October 2020

Pride in Peel stands together in support for the trans community against the hateful, bigoted, ill-informed and outdated comments made by Perth Mayor Basil Zempilas. Not only did these comments place Trans people at more risk within the community, they caused further duress to a community that already has one of the highest mental health and suicide rates.

Yesterday Mayor Basil Zempilas joked and laughed on 6PR morning radio denying that anyone can identify as a different gender to that which was assigned at birth, even offering to pay $100 store voucher "for any woman with a penis to ring the station".

Chair of TransFolk of WA Hunter Gurevich, had the following to say:

“Obviously, these comments are repugnant, bigoted, narrow-minded, parochial and fundamentally deny contemporary science. Further, it puts LGBTQIA+ people at increased risk of harm, when we are already a vulnerable group in society. It is especially disappointing when The City of Perth has long supported the LGBTQIA+ community of Perth. For Mr Zempilas to now betray not only the community, but our relationship with the city, is beyond inexcusable”. Hunter further goes on to suggest that Mayor Mr Zempilas should "consider consulting experts in the field before providing comment". Pride in Peel would like to further add that anyone who is representing the community, be that either in a political position or on radio, could benefit from undertaking education and training in this area.

We would like to show our support for anyone in the community who may have been distressed by these comments and let you know we stand behind you. We would also like to praise those in the community who have stood in support, and encourage others to also help show Trans people that WA is progressive, and aims to be inclusive of all.

If you would like to take further action, the following are suggestions:

Place a complaint with the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority). Mayor Zempilas’s comments were in breach of Article 2.1.4 of the Commercial Radio Code or Practice.

Or place a complaint with The City of Perth. His comments were in breach of the Code of Conduct for elected members.

Or write an email to 6PR Program Director at

For those needing support during this time, below are some contacts:

Qlife 1800184 527

Freedom Centre 9228 0354

Mental Health Emergency Response Line 1300 555 788 (Metro) or 1800 676 822 (Peel) or 1800 552 002 (Country/Rurallink)

Lifeline 13 11 14

Beyondblue 1300 224 636

Headspace 1800 650 890

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