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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

Oddball

Latest News

Action on Cumbalum Interchange at Ballina?

Following multiple community requests, Cr Phillip Meehan brought a motion to the last Ballina Council meeting calling for additional ramps to be built at the Cumbalum-Pacific Motorway interchange.

Other News

Final stage of Lismore Base Hospital gets underway

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Housing affordability on agenda at Ballina

With the housing crisis worsening in Ballina and across the Northern Rivers, councillors agreed that something had to be done about the problem at their meeting yesterday.

Rail trail

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Motion to save Lennox pavilion fails

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Constitutional referendum/poll for LG elections for Byron Shire?

Is the wards fight back again? Byron Shire Council staff have advised, in the upcoming agenda, that ‘Council may conduct a Constitutional referendum or poll in conjunction with the Local Government Election, to be held in September 2021’.

The lunatics have taken over the asylum…

The Zombies of the Climate ApoCOALpse have today swarmed around Queensland's Parliament House this morning to highlight impending climate chaos.

The power of imagination and our eagerness to be transported by it is a wonderful thing, is it not? At one point in this cracking movie, the dog Oddball has gone missing and his distraught owner, Swampy (Shane Jacobson), is seen wandering the cliffs near Warrnambool, calling his name. The mood is fraught, the packed cinema holding its breath, hoping that that no harm has come to the loveable white mutt. Then, from near the front row, a plaintive little voice cries ‘Oddball!’ This is the true story of how a colony of fairy penguins living on a small island off the coast of Victoria was saved from the predation of foxes by a lumbering long-haired Maremma sheepdog. Of course, there needs to be more to it than that to make a story out of it and Peter Ivan’s script weaves romance, comedy and mystery (I didn’t guess the ‘reveal’) through the narrative in equal measure. Jacobson, as in Kenny, exudes warmth and genuineness – he is possibly the only actor in Oz who could get away with ‘whacko-the-diddlo’ (a blast from the past). As a result, you can’t help but care about him, his single-mum daughter Emily (Sarah Snook) and doting granddaughter Olivia (Coco Jack Gillies).

The necessary conflict is with those who scheme to have the island’s status as a sanctuary abandoned in favour of turning it into a whale-viewing site. Director Stuart McDonald never wallows in the bathos that marred Red Dog and, as well as capturing some beautiful shots of the rugged coastline, cinematographer Damian Wyvill displays a painterly eye with the green-screen, managing to evoke in the island scenes an old-fashioned secretive atmosphere reminiscent of the Famous Five – and there is also a hint of Gerald Durrell in the cosiness of the tale-telling. Naysayers and connoisseurs will scoff that the Disney-type depiction of animals is juvenile bunk, but surely anything at all that opens young minds to the plight of the world’s vanishing wildlife is to be applauded. I loved it.    


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