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Byron Shire
June 2, 2023

Mullum’s lilac house the subject of Change.org petition

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Nicole Haberecht’s house colour is incompatible with NSW and Council heritage conservation policy. Photo supplied.

The plight of a Mullum resident has touched the hearts and injustice buttons of people far and wide who feel that a requirement that she repaint her house a heritage colour and possibly pay a fine, not only ridiculous but also petty.

Many commenters are wondering why Byron Council isn’t putting its energy into more important projects like pothole repairing.

Nicole Haberecht was served with a Byron Shire Council ‘return to work’ order demanding she repaint the house on the grounds that the lilac colour she paid a professional painter $10,000 to put on her house, does not comply with the Non-Indigenous Heritage provisions of DCP 2014.

Ms Haberecht said that the response to the story has been immense. ‘I am very grateful and humbled by everyone’s support. When I moved here I wasn’t wanting any attention but then I painted the house lilac.

Mayor not opposed to lilac house

Ms Haberecht said she has heard nothing more from council but Mayor Simon Richardson has made a comment about the story on The Echo’s Facebook page.

‘I support the owner,’ said Mr Richardson. ‘I’m sick of those believing heritage means painting something in dreadful colours because they did it 100 years ago – the most beautiful heritage building in Mullum is the light pink one – thank goodness the heritage police didn’t hold sway on that.’

Ms Haberecht said she loves the mayor’s comment. ‘It’s amazing.’

The response from the public has only made Nicole more resolute in her position. ‘Everyone has been so supportive and more. People that I don’t know are messaging me privately offering their support. No one ever has said to me to change the colour. Everyone loves it.’

Several of the messages have suggested that Nicole start a petition and that is exactly what she has done. If you would like to show support for the current colour of the lilac house, you can sign the petition at: https://www.change.org/p/byron-shire-council-help-save-the-purplicious-house.

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  1. ” Many commenters are wondering why Byron Council isn’t putting its energy into more important projects like pothole repairing.”
    So , once again, we have the anonymous “they’ , known only to the author .
    “They ” also assume that the Council Person in charge of Potholes is also the Lilac House inspector .
    Poor stuff , really .

  2. I personally find it to be a pukey, sickly colour but I totally support her right to have her house the colour she wants.

  3. I agree that as the house appears in the pic it is appealing and blends well with the garden. I can think of much worse colours to introduce to a heritage area. But that’s sort of the point as well. I think heritage is a concept worth preserving and if I lived in a heritage area (sadly I don’t) if someone next door decided to paint their house psychedelic pink or yellow I’d be horrified and hope some applicable controls would offer some protection. Maybe some compromise is possible here without throwing out the baby.

    That said I think BSC has shown itself to be rather selective in its compliance enforcement and very inconsistent in its preservation of heritage.

  4. Heritage values should have been strongly applied during the excavation of Butler St., to support the Byron bypass. Valuable vegetation and species were destroyed in this process. Devastating environmental degradation and community suffering the result.

    The Lilac house compliments the gardens. Lilac to purple colors attract insects, including Bees, a valuable and threatened species. More designs of a holistic nature…house/garden and insect attracting colors please.
    Lunacy reigns addressing this issue. Lets keep a strong community supportive spirit please.

  5. Sorry but I don’t see that the Mayor’s particular taste palette is that pertinent here and would he include Jack Mundy and the BLF under the “heritage police” umbrella. I think I’d disagree with much of his aesthetic vision for the area.

  6. There was a very limited colour choice 100 years ago and why we have to stick to those colours imazes me. With all the beautiful colours in the the world we’re still stuck with them. Please, stop the philistineism.

  7. Jacarandas are native to this area so what’s the big deal about the color of the house to me it is a great heritage color.

  8. So it’s alright for Byron Council to approve Development Applications not in keeping within the Bangalow Heritage precinct yet they won’t allow a home owner to choose the colour of their home. It’s only paint, not as if it’s permanent. Our neighbourhood is being destroyed by inappropriate developments. Double standards BSC!

  9. I fail to understand why this petition is required. Why is lilac a non indigenous colour? What are the non indigenous colours? What are the Indigenous colours? Is lilac an indigenous colour? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Lilac in the beautiful colours of the northern rivers. I think we should all paint our houses lilac or part of our houses lilac in support and see what the outcome is. Maybe Byron shire is too close to the QLD border and Joh is still about. When I was growing up in the northern rivers Grafton was known for its Lilac trees, they are called jacarandas, are we going to cut them down? What is a heritage colour and who’s heritage? Who is offended by the colour lilac? I really don’t understand this at all. I agree with comments about paint choices 100 years ago but how do we move forward as a nation hanging on to what was the norm 100 years ago, maybe we should go back 80,000 years ago when there was no paint in tins, I reckon the colour we call lilac was used and pre dates Byron Shire Council by about 79,950 years. So many other things to worry about Byron elected council, like how did I last week as a tweed resident get away with parking in Byron in a car park without a parking meter.? Anyway whoever it is that owns this house and has painted it lilac and not cream/white or cream/white or god forbid cream/white you have my support 😊

  10. With the lilac flowers it looks nature loving and Mullum to me.
    Any houses painted psychodelic? When I think Mullum, I think hippies 🙂
    Seems like the council is trying to change Mullum’s vibrant heritage.

  11. Looks a beautiful inviting home.
    Council should focus on more important issues than a homeowner deciding to paint her own home with a pastel colour she loves.

  12. I can see why a government department finds it necessary to intervene in this matter.
    What an outrageous violation of community standards. How dare this taxpayer exercise any freedom of choice and pride.
    Send the Brownshirts in immediately to smash and burn.
    Petition signed. Lovely house that looks well cared for. Well done.

  13. It’s just completely outrageous. Let them get away with policies like this, they will soon be telling you how you are to wipe your own a*se. The person or people who have subjected this homeOWNER to the stress and expense of having to defend herself against this petty tyranny should be forced to publicly apologise.


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