New chief takes RAS reins

One in, one out: Martin Molony is handing over the reins to Peter Cooper, who is taking over as the RAS chief. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d418381
One in, one out: Martin Molony is handing over the reins to Peter Cooper, who is taking over as the RAS chief. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d418381

The retiring Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) chief executive has spent every grand final day at the Perth Royal Show since joining the RAS as commercial manager in 2000. He was appointed chief executive in 2006.

Mr Molony said he would keep busy with consultancy work, and hopefully ‘get another shot off my golf handicap’.

The Fremantle resident said the RAS would be in safe hands with chief operating office Peter Cooper in the top job.

‘A lot of things are already in place for the (2014) show and I wanted someone new to start with the concept plan from day one,’ Mr Molony said.

The RAS engaged architects Hames Sharley to gather stakeholder feedback and develop a concept plan for possible residential, commercial and retail on part of the society’s 30ha site.

The RAS committee of 28 councillors and five former presidents will consider the plan at its meeting in Harvey this week, but a decision on the plan might be delayed until the June meeting.

Mr Cooper, who started with the RAS as the commercial manager, said the challenge was to focus on the long-term future of the RAS, which included developing a road map for the next 100 years.

‘Our number one priority will be agriculture, education and a new concept for the show, so there’s a focus on technology and precision farming,’ he said.

‘We want to expose the general public to the IT and science of farming.’

Mr Molony said the most challenging part of his eight-year tenure as chief executive was taking the RAS from a negative financial state to a strong position that allowed the organisation to renovate buildings and create new roads and fences.

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