Labor accuses Bronwyn Bishop of being ‘most biased Speaker’ in history

Manager of opposition business Tony Burke seeks to move a no confidence motion against Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop. Photo: Andrew Meares Mark Dreyfus reacts as he was named by the Speaker during question time in Parliament House Canberra on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares
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Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

MPs vote on a procedure division on Labor’s no confidence motion against Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott talks with Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

The Pulse Live: Judith Ireland blogs live from Parliament

Labor has attempted to pass a motion of no confidence in the Speaker of the House of Representatives Bronwyn Bishop.

Accusations of bias, incompetence and inconsistency were levelled at Ms Bishop by manager of opposition business, Tony Burke, who launched his strongest attack yet on the Speaker in Parliament’s question time on Thursday.

Mr Burke’s unsuccessful motion – it was always destined to fail given the government controls the numbers in the House of Representatives – continues a campaign by Labor to strip Ms Bishop of the Speakership, with Labor ministers arguing she is the most biased Speaker in history.

Addressing the Speaker, Mr Burke said: “As of the action that you took today, 98 people have now been thrown out of the House by you. Every one of them from the opposition. Ninety-eight-love. No Speaker in the history of federation has a record like that.”

“Everyone in Australia knows bias when they see it,” Mr Burke added. “You were effective as a warrior for the Liberal Party, but that is not the job you chose to take on.

“And yet in the Speaker’s chair you have continued to act as though enjoying the victory for your own side is your job.

“The Parliament deserves more than that and the Parliament cannot have confidence in a Speaker who refuses to be impartial.”

Government leader in the house Christopher Pyne, in shutting down the suspension motion, countered that Labor ministers had a problem with strong women and were bullying Ms Bishop.

After Ms Bishop ejected shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus from the House, Mr Burke rose to condemn her impartiality. Labor MPs said Mr Dreyfus was ejected simply for referring to Ms Bishop by her title “Madam Speaker”.

Mr Pyne replied that Labor was engaging in “shabby” tactics and should be “congratulating” Ms Bishop for her performance and grateful that she had not treated them more harshly.

Mr Pyne said that unlike Mr Burke, he did not whinge at poor treatment from the Speaker when he was in opposition.

“I am no sook,” Mr Pyne said to uproarious laughter in the chamber.

“I have been Manager of opposition business for five years.

“I was manager of opposition business for three years in a hung parliament. I hold the record for being ejected from this place by Speakers in the Parliament. I never complained.”

“I didn’t stand up like a great big sook like the manager of opposition business did today and say like one of my four children that I have had my toy taken away from me.”

Labor’s transport spokesman Anthony Albanese seconded the motion of no confidence. Mr Albanese said it was “sad” that Ms Bishop had “chosen the low road of partisanship rather than the high road of independence”.

“There are millions of Australians who voted for us on this side and they also deserve to be represented and not treated with contempt from the chair of the House of Representatives,” Mr Albanese said.

Predictably, Labor’s motion of no confidence in the Speaker failed with 83 members voting against and 51 voting for.

It is a common occurrence for oppositions to accuse the government-appointed speaker of being biased. While bias is difficult, perhaps impossible, to measure objectively, so far 100 per cent of the MPs Ms Bishop has ejected from the House have been Labor members.

Since Parliament began taking records, opposition members have been punished about 90 per cent of the time, according to analysis by the Parliamentary Library.

During the 43rd Parliament (Gillard/Rudd Labor government) 89.2 per cent of the 278 disciplinary actions were against the Coalition. In the 41st Parliament (Howard government’s fourth term), 95.5 per cent of the 223 disciplinary actions were against Labor MPs.

In the last Parliament, then opposition leader Tony Abbott accused speaker Peter Slipper of ”vile sexism and bias”. On October 9, 2012, Mr Abbott moved a motion of no confidence against Mr Slipper. The motion was defeated by one vote (69 to 70), but Mr Slipper resigned that day.

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Hume Highway accident

One car ended up on it’s roof in an accident on the Hume Highway. Photo by Megan DrapalskiPolice are investigating a crash at Mittagong today.
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About 1.45pm (Thursday 27 March 2014), emergency services were called to the Hume Highway near the Old Hume Highway exit, responding to reports of a collision.

Ambulance Commander, Inspector Josh Atkins said it appeared that two cars had a head on collision on the Hume Highway.

“It appears that one vehicle has veered and impacted another,” he said.

One vehicle rolled and ended up on its roof.

“The lady was able to get herself out of the vehicle. She had a head laceration and was taken by ambulance to Liverpool Hospital,” Inspector Atkins said.

“The other man was trapped for approximately 40 minutes with suspected lower limb fractures and was airlifted to Liverpool Hospital.”

Southbound lanes on the Hume Highway have now reopened, however traffic delays remain and motorists are advised to avoid the area.

Investigators will commence inquiries to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Police are urging anyone with information about this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. People should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Bega district police report

BEGA Police have investigated a report of school children being approached by a man in North Bega.
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About 8.30am on Tuesday, two children waiting at the school bus stop were reportedly approached by an elderly man who asked them what school they went to, were they cold and did they want a lift.

The children didn’t engage with the man and reported the incident to police.

However, police were able to quickly identify the driver and said there were no suspicious circumstances.

Police said they found him to be an elderly man making genuine inquiries as to the welfare of the children caught in the rain.

IN OTHER police news, a 65-year-old man driving north on the Princes Hwy near the Bega Lookout lost control of his vehicle, crossed the centre line and collided with a second vehicle travelling south.

As a result of the crash, the second vehicle rolled, but landed back on its wheels.

Police said no-one was injured in the incident and breath tests on both drivers returned negative results.

Inquiries into the crash are continuing, but it was raining heavily at the time.

INSPECTOR Jason Edmunds said given the inclement weather in recent days “local drivers were to be congratulated – touch wood – for by and large driving to the conditions”.

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Council buys art with a message

Yass Valley Council has voted to purchase an artwork using recycled car parts to be erected next to the Barton Highway.
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Melanie Lyons’ piece, Forgotten 2004, has a road safety message.

Councillors agreed to pay $4950 for the piece, ‘Forgotten 2004’, which uses mangled car parts to represent flowers in a structure about three metres tall.

The Public Art Committee had been asked to make a recommendation to council on the purchase of a sculpture, choosing from those that were exhibited in Classic Yass’ Sculpture in the Paddock last year.

The committee met in January and chose the artwork by Melanie Lyons and recommended it be erected next to the Barton Highway.

The artist said the use of cars in the artwork was meaningful.

“Cars are a significant part of Australian society, they speak of freedom, independence and speed, and tragically they can also speak of grief. Yass was the place of my youth, a highway town where cars rule. The grief was a close friend killed in a car accident. Flowers are a symbol to remind us of those we have lost.”

Ms Lyons attended high school in Yass and still lives in the shire. She was selected in two consecutive years in the National Gallery’s annual ‘SubURBAN’ exhibition, which celebrates the very best in youth art in the Southern Tablelands.

She has a Bachelor of Arts (Visual) from the ANU School of Art, where she completed Honours in 2004.

Ms Lyons has also lost a loved one on the Barton Highway.

Members of the committee felt that, as well as being a great piece of public art by a young local talent, ‘Forgotten 2004’ conveyed a powerful road safety message important to many in Yass Valley.

There was consensus in the committee that, subject to consultation with the artist, NSW Roads and Maritime Services and a structural engineer, it could be appropriately placed next to the Barton Highway.

A specific site has yet to be determined.

Funds for the artwork and consultation with a structural engineer will come from the Community Art Reserve. At the time of going to press, the Tribune received advice from council that “The recommendation to purchase the artwork is subject to a structural engineering assessment report to assess the structure for safety and stability and recommended strategies to improve any identifiedissues.”

Additional funds for installation and ongoing maintenance will need to be budgeted in future years.

There was lively discussion among councillors at the meeting, including councillor Greg Butler voicing his dislike of the artwork.

“It’s a lot of money. Can I ask that it not be in Murrumbateman or anywhere near Murrumbateman?”

But councillor Jasmin Jones was supportive.

“I’m game to say that I love it. It’s a very ambitious piece.

“My concern is that it’s so eye-catching it could be a distraction.”

Councillor Geoff Frost questioned if the Barton was the appropriate place.

“There may be a better site on the Hume?” he asked.

But councillor Michael McManus pointed out that the message of the artwork could make a political point.

“We’re actively campaigning to improve the Barton Highway. This is made from car parts – there’s a reason for the Barton Highway to be the site for it. There may be a political agenda that the mayor can push.”

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Bega Roosters crowing for pre-season action

INAL positions are up for grabs in the short Group 16 pre-season competition on Saturday.
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• Rooster James Bower-Scott throws an offload during the under 18s pre-season match against Pambula-Merimbula last week.

Local clubs the Bega Roosters and Tathra Sea Eagles both face tough tasks.

Meanwhile, Candelo-Bemboka’s reserve grade will travel to Cooma to take on the in-form Cooma Stallions.

The Panthers must win for a hope of making the finals.

The Roosters will be sending four teams to take on the competition heavyweights, the Moruya Sharks, in a sudden death clash in all grades.

The winners will be poised to take part in the pre-season final to be held at the Bega Recreation Ground the following Saturday.

Tathra travels to Eden to face the Eden Tigers.

The Tigers are also in the hunt in three grades – firsts, reserves and league tag – for a finals berth.

Roosters president Garry Arkin said it will be tricky to arrange the final.

“The composition of the final will be a complex affair for Group 16 officials with Narooma Red Devils having the bye and it is almost certain that several clubs will finish on equal points,” Arkin said.

Group 16 president Dean Lynch has been buoyed with the announcement that Koala Kare has taken naming rights of the pre-season reserve grade competition.

Greg Thistleton Building has picked up the naming rights of the under 18 pre-season competition.

Lynch said that with this support rugby league is being kept alive in Group 16 and welcomed the news.

The United Fitness Roosters begin their campaign this weekend in their quest for top honours in 2014.

“It will be long hard road to hoe,” strapper Henry Lucas said.

“But we have some great talent coming through our 18s ranks and the league tag girls are training the place down.

“They need to win by a big margin in the hope they can grab a final position.

“So do the 18s who I am really excited about this season,” Lucas said.

“I’ve got two grandsons in the side, so it will be a year that I’m really looking forward to.

“All the boys are keen as mustard, they are all warming to co-coaches Grant Dowdle and James Scott, so fingers crossed, we’re hoping for a big year,” he said.

Meanwhile, Roosters first grade captain coach Ryan Apps welcomed the return to training of Grant Jessop and several other senior players this week.

Apps made special mention of early trainers Billy Hudson, Lee Scott and Eric Fuller who are benefiting from the February start.

“Moruya are the benchmark and are the defending premiers,” Apps said.

“We know we need to be on our game from the opening whistle.

“If we can keep our errors down and stick to our game plan, then I will be happy at our first real hit out for the season,” Apps said.

Reserve grade captain coach Steven Luff – in his maiden season as playing coach – will be looking to pull together a hard grade.

“Our numbers are gradually improving and my line-up still has vacancies,” Luff said.

“I am hoping for a concerted effort by fringe dwellers to start to turn up for training now.”

Luff’s side has been decimated with a massive player drain and he and team managers Dennis Scott and Shannon Gilmour are working hard on improving the numbers.

“We may have to call up some 18s for this week’s game, which will give them some experience,” Luff said.

“The young blokes’ enthusiasm is great.”

Meanwhile, in the league-tag match Andrew Badullovich has a sibling rivalry to contest.

Badullovich coaches the premier Bega Chicks, while his sister Lana is in charge of the Moruya Sharkettes.

The Sharkettes kicked their season off by taking the scalp of the highly rated Narooma side last weekend.

“Lana was team manager of the Bega Chicks side for the past two seasons and knows our players inside out,” Badullovich said.

“We are expecting a tough match to our season opener.

“Having said that the girls have been training well and we will be looking for a win to start our season in the right manner,” he said.

Arkin said most of the games to played are in the balance due to the weather.

“There has been a lot of rainfall this week up and down the coast and Moruya ground is reported to be closed,” Arkin said.

“It will be a case of wait and see how the weather pans out as to the venue for these all important games.”

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Courthouserally may be‘premature’

A RALLY organised for next week to protest the rumoured sale of the Old Courthouse to a fast food chain is in vain since the building is not even on the market.
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The heritage-listed building estimated to be worth $13 million has been vacant since January.

A number of suggestions have been touted for the building’s use, including converting it to an art gallery and as a one-stop shop for government services.

But its sale hit a snag when the owner, the NSW government, realised the Faulkner Street toilet block and bus stop were on the courthouse’s land.

State and Armidale Dumaresq Council officers are now negotiating how to subdivide the land so the building can be sold without impacting on those amenities. Armidale mayor Laurie Bishop said there was no way of telling how long that process would take.

Once the land has been subdivided the department can call for public tenders.

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall quashed rumours he heard the courthouse would or already has been sold to a fastfood franchise.

“I’ve been approached by people saying ‘McDonalds has bought it’ or ‘KFC has bought it’ and that’s not the case,” he said yesterday.

“It will be a very public process when it is up for sale.”

A number of Armidale households have received a letter from the Save Our Community Action Group calling for a rally at 5pm on Tuesday.

The letter proposes the courthouse could be used as a museum and tourist attraction which would showcase the region in cooperation with the Visitor Information Centre.

Cr Bishop said while he wanted to maintain the heritage of the building, Council could not afford to purchase it because of the cost of maintenance, saying it was in a poor state of repair

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Will it be three in a row or third time lucky?

Deja VU, I think we’ve been here before.
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Berry-Shoalhaven Heads and Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen played each other in the last two SDCA grand finals, and now they are going round for a third time.

The venue is the same, with Berry Sporting Complex to provide the setting once again, but the big question is can Ex-Servos win three in a row, or will Berry get third time lucky?

Berry go in full of confidence after their semi-final win against Bomaderry and their skipper Kerry Penfold said they are all looking forward to it.

“Absolutely,” Penfold exclaimed.

“We had a good win against Bomaderry. I thought our bowling was good and Brando’s innings was excellent.

“They are the favourites but every game of cricket we’ve played in the last few years has been close, no one has ever really been on top.”

For most of the season it looked like Nowra would be one of the teams in the decider, but from Penfold’s point of view, he is not surprised it is the two of them again, especially since Lain Beckett came back into the Ex-Servos line up.

“Lain been the real difference for them,” he said.

“He got seven wickets against us last time and he got another seven last week.

“Seeing him off is definitely the key early on.”

At the time we spoke, Berry Sporting Complex was reportedly underwater, but Penfold is hoping they don’t get washed out.

“That’s not how we’d like to win a grand final, so I hope it doesn’t come to that,” he said.

Penfold is hoping they get the chance to play a full game and that they can reverse the result this time around.

“It’d make up for the last couple of years, that’s for sure,” he said.

“We should’ve won last year, but we lost six wickets for about 20 runs.

“All credit to them for being able to win, but I think we’re getting closer.

“I haven’t won one here yet, but surely there’s got to be one in there!”

One man who is hoping Berry do not get third time lucky is Ex-Servos skipper Daniel Gleeson.

While he was less confident about the weather, Gleeson feels they have the team to make it three in a row.

“I think it’ll be another close one, just like the last two,” Gleeson said.

“They’ve come home pretty strongly since Christmas, particularly with theirbowling.

“Guys like Ty Cherry and Phil Dell’Orefice have been taking lots of wickets and they’re winning games on the back of them.”

Ex-Servos boast plenty of grand final experience, with Gleeson playing in his fifth, while Mat Ganderton is in his sixth.

Nate Jones, Simon Schmotz and Matt Smit are the only players in their team who haven’t played in a first grade grand final, but they were both in their premiership winning second grade team last year.

Jones played second grade last week, but is likely to come in to replace Shane Halliday who has been posted overseas with the navy, while Gleeson is likely to miss the first day to attend a wedding on the Gold Coast.

Even if he does miss the first day, Gleeson said he has no doubt his team will be all fired up and ready to go.

Gleeson said winning a third straight title is something that would mean a lot to their while team.

“Everyone would be ecstatic,” he said.

“The celebrations after the last two years have been a lot of fun and there’s no better feeling than winning a grand final.

“It’s a good achievement just to make it, but winning would be the perfect way to end a successful season.”

Gleeson is of the belief that runs on the board is crucial to winning grand finals and is expecting a tough challenge against a strong bowling attack.

“I think bringing Phil Dell’Orefice down from the South Coast was a smart move,” he said.

“They’ve got some quality fast bowlers, but a good spinner is probably something they’ve lacked in previous seasons.

“They take early wickets and then he seems to come on and cleans up the middle and lower order. A decent start will go a long way to reducing his impact.

“It’s all about our batsmen stepping up and it’s the same for Berry.”

It was Gleeson’s good mate Glenn Brandon who stepped up for Berry in their semi-final, with his unbeaten 138 proving to be the match-winner against Bomaderry.

“It’s funny, because at the start of the season he told me he was going to score a century,” Gleeson said.

“He never had before, but now he’s got two, so I hope he doesn’t have another one in him,” he added with a laugh.

While a lot of things will play a factor in the end result, Gleeson kept it simple in his final assessment of the game.

“The best side will win on the day and it’s as simple as that.”

ON FIRE: Ex-Servicemen’s Lain Beckett will be key in his team’s bowling attack. All photos: PATRICK FAHY

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Jump into Youth Week

YOUTH week is now a national event that runs from April 4 to 13 and this year the theme is ‘Our Voice, Our Impact’.
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GET READY: Looking forward to celebrating Youth Week in Singleton are (l-r) Emerson Avery, Olivia Cronin and Jackson Upcroft.

It is an opportunity for young people to share ideas, attend live events, have their voices heard, showcase their talents and most importantly – have fun.

And fun will certainly be on the agenda thanks to the efforts of local youth workers, Sam Higgins and Reina Stalker.

“It is about having fun and hopefully along the way we can reinforce some key life messages and skills in the process,” Sam said.

For those interested in challenging their minds they have organised both a chess tournament and workshop.

Chess wizard, David Absalom, from Newcastle University will facilitate the workshop on Saturday, April 5 and then on Saturday, April 12 he will return to umpire a half-day tournament.

There will be great prizes up for grabs and a hand crafted wooden trophy for the winner thanks to the Singleton Mens Shed.

“Chess is quite popular with the young people in Singleton and in Newcastle David has a huge following. Through the PCYC he runs weekly workshops and tournaments.”

In terms of strategy it is very involved and it gets very competitive as players attempt to ascend to the level of ‘master’, she said.

On the other hand if you are searching for inspiration, Ryan Campbell, the youngest person in history to fly solo around the globe, will also be visiting Singleton during Youth Week.

“He will be speaking at local schools and has some very interesting stories,” Sam said.

“We are lucky to have him after the Newcastle Aero Club got into contact with me through my involvement in the LIFT program and offered to sponsor him coming to Singleton.”

A limited number of participants will also be able to take part in the LIFT program during Youth Week, he said.

The program was featured in last Friday’s Argus and gives young people the chance to build their confidence through the experience of flight.

“This is a unique opportunity and anyone over the age of 15 interested in participating should contact the Youth Venue as soon as possible,” Sam said.

“From April 14 onwards we have a number of activities planned for those aged 11 and up,” Reina said.

“We will be going to the Tree Tops Adventure Park, ice skating at Warners Bay, rock climbing, ten pin bowling and Singleton Library will also be hosting some events.”

If you would like more information on Youth Week or to book in for the chess workshop, drop into the Singleton Youth Venue on Pitt Street or phone 6571 4687.

Alternatively email [email protected] and if you are online check out this video made by some of our local youth to promote the upcoming event


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James Reynolds’ Commonwealth gold and green

• James Reynolds has officially been named on the Jackaroos Commonwealth Games squad this week. TATHRA bowler James Reynolds is officially a Commonwealth Games athlete once more.
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Reynolds was given preliminary selection in February (BDN, 21/2), but had to take on the Trans Tasman before anything would be confirmed.

In an interview before the Trans Tasman Reynolds said “it is all in our hands now”.

A month later, the team emerged victorious from the Trans Tasman and Reynolds and his two other disabled team-mates have all made the cut.

Reynolds will be joined in the in disabled body triples event by Tim Slater and Anthony Bonnell.

Reynolds said he had experience playing with, and against, the two bowlers and they are both very capable.

“He [Bonnell] beat me last year in the Australian singles final, so he’s obviously pretty handy to say the least,” Reynolds said.

The trio will form part of the 17-person strong Australian contingent, which includes two vision impaired bowlers and their guides.

Reynolds has been training hard for years to make selection and has been inundated with comments and support on his Facebook page.

On Tuesday, Reynolds posted on his Facebook.

“Well I just walked off the green to a ton of awesome messages from everyone.

“So yes I’ve been extremely blessed to be one of the many Jackaroos selected for the Commonwealth Games.”

Meanwhile, Merimbula professional bowler and former Victorian captain Michael Wilks had this to say.

“You’ve worked hard to earn the honour and I’m sure I can say the whole Sapphire Coast bowls community is very proud of your achievement.”

Australian bowling coach Steve Glasson led the team to Silver in the Delhi Games in 2010 and was looking to strengthen the result.

Glasson said the squad would be looking to replicate its 2012 world championships result where it won five gold and two silver out of a possible eight.

“Australia have had a successful 18 months or so in international competition, but we are under no illusion that the Games competition will be intense and we need to be as prepared as we can,” Glasson said

“The team is unchanged from the one that defeated New Zealand at the recent Trans-Tasman test which is testament to the way the team performed at that event recently.”

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Will Nowra’s youth beat Ex-Servos’ experience?

IN yet another repeat of the one day final, Nowra Green and Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen’s will meet once again in the Shoalhaven District Cricket Association fourth grade grand final at the Added Area.
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If the one day final is any guide, then this one is up for grabs, although Nowra are the favourites here after finishing first.

Nowra had a tougher than expected semi-final win over defending premiers Ulladulla after being in cruise mode since the Christmas break.

Ex-Servo’s, on the other hand, seem to be losing their way in the final rounds, before a last round win put them back up to third, then an outright win in the semi-final against Berry has added some much needed confidence going into the big game.

On paper this would seem a one sided affair, but finals show that paper means nothing.

For Nowra, Lachlan Butfield, Les Ison and Dylan Turner are key figures with the bat, with David Webb, Stuart Brown and Butfield keys with the ball.

Butfield was the leading scorer with the bat and won the all-rounder award for this grade.

For Ex-Servo’s, Barry Cumberland has rolled back the years finishing second in the association bowling and he will be ably supported by Vincent Morris.

Joshua Bodini has been one of the stand outs with the bat for Ex-Servo’s, but they do have the advantage of a lot of batting depth.

This final is a little harder to tip.

Nowra have the form players as well as a lot of youth on their side, while Ex-Servo’s have the edge in experience in big games.

Shane’s tip: Ex-Servos

Pat’s tip: Ex-Servos

Gillian’s tip: Nowra Green

CAUGHT IN A WEBB: David Webb is expected to be one of Nowra Green’s top bowlers this weekend against Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen’s. Photo: PATRICK FAHY

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