Independent Appeals Panel

Special Disaster Grant - Storms & Floods Program

The RAA has established an Independent Appeals Panel (IAP) to hear appeals related to the Special Disaster Grant - Storms & Floods program.

The Panel’s functions are to:

  • review refusals of Special Disaster Grant - Storms & Floods against the eligibility criteria, where an appeal of a refusal decision has been sought;
  • provide a recommendation to the RAA CEO on whether to uphold or overturn a decision, based on the evidence presented to the appeal and;
  • report to the RAA CEO any information on trends or clusters of appeal cases that could assist the RAA in delivering efficient, transparent and fair assessment of applications.

The Panel includes members with suitable agribusiness, financial management, accounting or grant management experience. The Panel has three members and one may be from the Public Service provided they were not involved in the assessment or processing of assistance applications subject to appeal or the supervision of this work.

Current panel members


Mrs Annemarie Jones OAM , FIPA, FFA has over 40 years experience as a Public Accountant, having managed the Liverpool Office of Arthur Young & Co in Sydney. She moved to Wellington, New South Wales in 1986 and commenced her own accountancy practice which she subsequently sold in 2002 to the Investor Group, now known as Findex. Anne continues to service long standing clients from her home office.

In 1995 she was elected to Wellington Council holding the positions of Deputy Mayor for 7 years and Mayor for 8 years. Following the amalgamation of Dubbo City Council and Wellington Council in 2016 Anne was appointed as an advisor to the Administrator of the new council. On 9 September, 2017 she was elected to the new Council – Dubbo Regional Council and held the position of Deputy Mayor for 2 years and is currently a councillor on Dubbo Regional Council.

She is a committee member on a number of Dubbo Regional Council committees, including the Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Anne has been involved in many community volunteer organisations over the past 30 years in Wellington and Dubbo.

She is a member of the International Association of Lions Clubs, a Past District Governor of Lions District 201N4 and the District Disaster Chairperson since 2011, which covers 1/3 of the state of New South Wales.


Murray Scholz is the owner and manager of a progressive and innovative agriculture business producing grain, oilseeds, beef, and lamb in the eastern Riverina.

Murray is an experienced Board Director with over 10 years of commercial and not for profit experience in strategic direction, financial management, corporate governance and communication strategy in commercial agricultural business, capacity building, and research. He has served as a director of Nuffield Australia, of Queensland Crop Research and Holbrook Landcare. He is currently a director of Regional Development Australia Murray Region and Riverine Plains farming systems group. He also sat on the Industry Advisory Panel of the Graham Centre (Charles Sturt University & NSW DPI) and GRDC southern NSW grower network.

Murray is a nationally recognised innovator, and his experience in agriculture has led him to present at conferences in Canada, India, and Japan. In Australia he has presented at government, industry and university conferences including ABARES National Outlook Conference, Australian Farm Institute conferences, and GRDC updates. Topics have included weed management, technology in agriculture, adapting farming systems in a changing environment, and strategic decision making. His business has been featured on ABC’s Landline and Bush Telegraph.

Murray is a Nuffield Scholar, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and completed The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP Texas A&M).


RAA Program Officer - the third member is an RAA program officer who is not involved in the assessment or processing of storms & floods assistance applications or the supervision of this work.