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Byron Shire
November 30, 2021


Latest News

Flood warning for Richmond and Wilsons Rivers

A deepening low pressure trough through the northeast of the state is expected to bring rain and thunderstorms during Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the State Emergency Service.

Other News

Developers’ boon

Ballina is experiencing both a housing boom and skyrocketing prices. The developers must be loving it. But unless you’re...

Nesting boxes help keep wildlife safe

While many locals are being driven out of their homes by increasing rents and a shrinking housing supply, the dwindling forests of the region have created the need to increase Wildbnb – that is, nest boxes for the struggling wildlife.

Kingscliff Public School gets long-awaited upgrade

If you were wondering what is happening at Kingscliff Public School, construction is well underway on an upgrade.

Candidate integrity

I write in reference to ‘Letters’ about Ballina candidates in last week’s Echo and would offer the following in...

Elephant in Byron Shire

During the 1980s Byron Shire Council introduced an LEP which included a building envelope that restricted the height of...

Not wedging

Though it may be puzzling to some, I am heartened to see that some of the candidates for the...

There is an ‘all that glitters is not gold’ moral here: Unheralded South African director Neill Blomkamp caught everyone’s eye with his confronting futuristic drama District 9 (2009).

As so often is the case, its success resulted in his being lured to Hollywood where, with a quadrupled budget, he came up with the less challenging Elysium, a blockbuster in which CGI typically took precedence over the sort of dark, worrying narrative that drove D9.

Back in Johannesburg again, with much less money at his disposal, he has returned to form.

The inhabitants of the city (in reality, Joh’burg is one of the world’s most violent) are kept in check by squads of police robots, including the astonishingly believable Chappie (voiced by Sharlto Copley).

When Chappie is captured by ‘gangsta’ drug dealers, Blomkamp, without foregoing the thrills and spills expected from the genre, is able to take his story to a philosophical level rarely attempted in mega-bucks sci-fi flicks.

Intelligence – artificial or otherwise – love and learning, identity, creation itself all come under the spotlight as Chappie becomes aware of his own being, and his shelf-life.

So convincing is the walking-talking hunk of metal that the scene in which he is beaten up by street thugs elicits genuine despair (I was more distressed by it than I would have been if Chappie were a normal flesh-and-blood screen hero).

From there, the battered Chappie staggers to a junkyard where his encounter with a stray dog is in every way as poignant as when Frankenstein’s monster found comfort in the cabin of the blind peasant.

This is a fabulous movie that manages the perfect balance between brawn and brain and in which Blomkamp is handsomely rewarded by exceptional performances from his big-name stars – Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver and Hugh Jackman (fantastic as the bullying Aussie tech-head) – and local actors alike.

Yo-Landi Visser, ‘Mummy’ to Chappie, is adorable and it is only fitting that she is the focus of an end shot that pays rightful homage to Avatar.

~ John Campbell

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Storms and rain for Tuesday and Wednesday in the Northern Rivers

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is predicting widespread thunderstorms and rain for the Northern Rivers.

Byron candidates 2021 Q&A part 2

Buckle in, seats upright, and loosen the belt!  It’s time to see what candidates have to say – in full – about our collective issues...

COVID update – Aquarius, Lismore sewage fragments and the South African variant

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there have been no new cases of COVID-19 reported in the 24 hours to 8pm 28 November, but, they are urging residents in the Lismore area to be alert for COVID-19 symptoms.

Last chance for tickets to Byron Shire Council Meet the Candidates forum

Today is your last chance to get tickets to tonight’s Byron Shire Meet the Candidates forum in the Byron Theatre.