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Man with mullet denied entry to pubs

Is the mullet fast becoming an endangered species? Some are fighting back against mullet discrimination, which is stopping people at the doors of Sydney's pubs.

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It is the hairstyle worn by some of Australia's biggest sporting and music stars, from John Farnham to Shane Warne. But now young men who sport mullet haircuts claim they are being barred from some Sydney pubs and clubs because owners believe they share the same unruly DNA as bikies.

Eighteen-year-old apprentice bricklayer Liam Monte of Narellan said the discrimination amounts to a new sort of class war.

Since the Queensland government came down hard and banned Sunshine State bikies from looking like motorcycle outlaw gang members last year, Monte and his mates have sometimes not been able to enter bars and hotels of their choice.

Heir apparent: Liam Monte and his mate Russell say pubs and clubs ban them because they believe their mullet hairstyles make them bikies.

Heir apparent: Liam Monte and his mate Russell say pubs and clubs ban them because they believe their mullet hairstyles make them bikies. Photo: Brendan Esposito

He said publicans and club owners are confusing a sense of style with a propensity towards crime.

"Yeah, we've got mullets and we're well dressed and clean, we haven't got gold chains dripping off ...  but clubs in the city and in the west say we can't come in because we look like bikies," he said.

"We're not bikies. We're just young blokes who wear a sensible haircut to work in the sun."

John Farnham.

John Farnham.

Bricklayer Mitchell Browne explained how a mullet offers protection against a red neck: "The mullet is perfect for those of us who work outside. Short hair around the face can't get in the eyes, so it doesn't slow us down. Extra length at the back keeps the burning sun off the neck and protects against skin cancer."

Megabytes have been wasted on who to credit/blame for the mullet: a Byzantine, Rod Stewart and Billy Ray Cyrus are among those mentioned in dispatches.

The hairstyle has worn many pejorative names including Achy-breaky-bad-mistakey, Canadian passport and Ape Drape, and now does duty among inner city types as shorthand for people who do not drink espresso macchiato.

Queensland's slap down of outlaw motorcycle gangs, the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Bill, does not stipulate that a mullet haircut makes the bikie, but it does ban members from advertising club affiliation by wearing clothing bearing their club patch or colours in a public.

Most places nominated by Liam Monte and his mates as discriminatory do not wish to comment on closed door policies to mullet wearers.

Scruffy Murphy's manager Jason McKenna said would-be patrons at the central business district hotel are never discriminated against by their haircuts. "As long as they look tidy and neat and are not intoxicated, they’re in," he said.

However, the licensee of the Star Bar in George Street, who wished to remain anonymous, said haircut styles were taken into consideration when deciding who could enter her nightclub.