Basil Zempilas: Caution makes way for confidence in our mask-free city

Headshot of Basil Zempilas
Basil ZempilasThe West Australian
Commuters arrive in Perth CBD on April 29 2022.
Camera IconCommuters arrive in Perth CBD on April 29 2022. Credit: Ian Munro/The West Australian

1. Masks off, people back in the city. Guess what, it worked. Last Friday alone, on the first day of eased restrictions, Friday night activity in the city jumped 15 per cent — it was the busiest Friday night in 11 weeks. On Monday, pedestrian activity in the city was up 24 per cent. The CBD is getting its people back. COVID caution has made way for COVID confidence.

2. On Thursday this newspaper used its editorial to ask of Kate Chaney “it appears absurd to think she would do a deal with anyone but Labor. So why be disingenuous? Why not be up-front and tell voters she will do a deal with Labor?” I’m going to use my vast (read one) personal candidature experience here to have a guess. Because it would likely cost her the election. Ms Chaney herself has said “we expect decision-making in government to be transparent and fair”. I reckon that’s what voters want, too, when they come to decide who the government should be.

independent candidate Kate Chaney for Curtin
Camera IconKate Chaney. Credit: Unknown/Facebook

3. Should Anthony Albanese know Labor’s six-point plan for the NDIS off the top of his head? Probably. Should he have had a go at listing them when asked? Yeah. Would it have mattered one bit if he got to point five or six and said “I’ve gone blank”? Not to me. This fascination with every politician being able to recall every single detail instantly is absurd. Referring to notes or a colleague doesn’t mean someone’s incompetent.

4. That rate rise isn’t going to help the Libs, is it? Answering the question posed in this column last week, it turns out the RBA board is entirely independent.

5. Wednesday’s tragic e-scooter death has confirmed what we have all suspected: the rules and safety regulations around their use have to be tightened. The scooters are convenient and fun but I’m not confident we’ve got this technology under control.

Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas announces a support package for City businesses affected by COVID-19.
Camera IconPerth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas announces a support package for City businesses affected by COVID-19. Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

6. The State Government wasn’t interested in a Commonwealth Games bid but I’m hoping they will get behind the opportunity for Perth to host the largest humanitarian event on the planet. There’s a concerted effort under way to bring the 2027 Special Olympics to Perth and with it 8000 competing athletes with intellectual disability and their families. It’s the world’s most feel-good festival of sport and in five years it can be ours. Let’s put our hand up and make Perth the most inclusive capital city in the world.

7. Does anything actually happen at the Met Gala? It seems like famous people in weird clothes pull up in a limo, walk the red carpet, and presumably get back in the limo and go home. What else happens?

8. The butcher, the baker and, in the case of South Fremantle’s Jake Florenca, the cabinet-maker. That’s where the West Coast Eagles are at topping up their team. What a crazy season.

9. And now Adam Simpson is out of the coach’s box. Kane Cornes must think he has real influence over here.

10. Bluey to end. Fake news apparently. Thank goodness for that.

Basil Zempilas is the Lord Mayor of Perth

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