Protect Callan Park

Callan Park is a place that needs protection and support, not ongoing neglect

For over seven years, the heritage site in Sydney’s Inner West has been willfully neglected by the Baird Government, which has allowed buildings to lie derelict and in disrepair to such an extent that tenants have quit the complex.

A key leaseholder, the University of Sydney’s College of the Arts, will be relocating in the next year, citing the financial burden of the ongoing upkeep and the Coalition Government’s neglect as a key reason.

The Government’s refusal to rule out amending the existing Callan Park Act heightens concerns that plans are being prepared to privatize parts of the former Colonial-era hospital.

Under this Government’s policy of willful neglect a great state treasure risks falling into ever greater disrepair and facing possible demolition.

The community is concerned at the Government’s failure to quash speculation that it plans to allow for greater commercialisation and possibly even development of the buildings. The existing Act protects the park from development larger than the existing built environment and quarantines the park for health, education and recreational purposes.

NSW Labor has a 3 point plan to save Callan Park:

  • A pledge to uphold the Callan Park Act, implemented by the Carr Labor Government, to protect the park against neglect, privatisation or over commercialisation;
  • Establish an independent trust to manage Callan Park and ensure it is maintained as a significant regional park and heritage asset but that also manages appropriate tenants to provide an ongoing income stream for maintenance;
  • Secure the future of the Kirkbride Complex by attracting a long-term health or education tenant to replace the Sydney College of the Arts in the event of its departure.

NSW Labor and the local community helped save Callan Park a decade and a half ago, and we will do it again.