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Byron Shire
July 20, 2024


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Mrs Elliot

It’s very unfortunate that Justine Elliot has so little confidence in herself or her party that she needs to...

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Another fire ant nest at Wardell

Fire ants were located at Wardell, south of Ballina on Thursday, July 11 as part of the fire ant response to a previous detection of the fire ants in Wardell in January this year. 

Zionism is not a dirty word

I was disheartened reading Heilpern’s article (Echo, July 3). I understand his confusion when stating '… an antisemite one...

Oztag players enjoy Goonellabah’s inaugural NAIDOC Week event

Hepburn Park in Goonellabah was transformed into a sea of young Oztag players on July 11 after more than 200 young people participated in CASPA’s inaugural NAIDOC Oztag Gala Day.

Middle East veterans

Thanks for your excellent article, Paul Bibby. Exactly the publicity and coverage we wanted. Many Middle Eastern veterans struggle to...

Assange rocks

Julian Rocks that we see in the Byron Shire is just the tip of a much larger mass of...

45 search and rescue missions in June on Northern Rivers

Marine Rescue NSW saw a drop in search and rescue missions this June compared to last year, however, it was still their second-busiest June ever.


Love, blood, boy – they are all heavily weighted words when used in movie titles, reliably good for a few extra bucks at the box office. Mud, you’d have to think, might have the opposite effect. More’s the pity, for this edgy, sweaty and illogically feelgood drama is loaded with all three of those lightning-rod elements.

Set in a white-trash riverbank community in Arkansas, Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) are 14-year-old buddies (not unlike Huck and Tom) who encounter Mud (Matthew McConaughey), a killer on the run, when they take dibs on an abandoned boat. Charismatic Mud befriends the boys and inveigles them to bring him food and to scrounge and steal the materials he will need to re-float the boat and make his escape from the state troopers and his victim’s avengers. Though not a western, it draws heavily on that genre’s antiquated (to some) but never buried philosophy of an eye for an eye. Rough justice might not be to the taste of writer/director Jeff Nichols’s natural audience, but so eloquently, if grimily, does he tell his tale that we can’t help hoping for the best for Mud.

Naïve but resourceful, Ellis and Neckbone are easily won over to Mud’s cause and it’s the relationship between the three that is so engrossing. Mud’s predicament has come about as a result of the unfaithfulness of the gal he is besotted with, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon). There is a generally resentful attitude colouring the depiction of the female characters, including Ellis’s mama, whose separation from his father means the family home will be demolished by the state, and the older schoolgirl whom Ellis thinks of as his girlfriend. Juniper, so important, is no more than a ‘type’ defined by her skimpy wardrobe – but this is not too serious a flaw, for what Nichols is concerned with are the emotional strengths and frailties of masculine bonding.

Naturalistic performances from all – McConaughey has been a revelation since departing the rom-com scene – and the kids are fantastic.

John Campbell

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Tikkun Olam

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Tyagarah – changed overnight traffic conditions

From Monday, July 22 there will be changed traffic conditions on Tyagarah Creek Bridge on the Pacific Highway at Tyagarah to carry out essential maintenance.