Callan Park must be saved from commercialisation

Inner West Council

Proposed changes to the way Callan Park is managed would lead to privatisation and commercialisation, according to Inner West Mayor Rochelle Porteous.

The NSW Government announced overnight that it proposes commercial leases of up to 50 years in some of the most iconic buildings on the site.

“This is privatisation by stealth. This is gutting the Callan Park Act for commercial gain,” Mayor Porteous said.

“I will be bringing a Mayoral Minute to Tuesday’s Extraordinary Council meeting and Inner West will fight this,” she said.

Currently, the Callan Park Act allows only for not-for-profit community facilities, education or health uses.

“But Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes last night released the Greater Sydney Parklands Bill. The Bill shows that he wants to change the Callan Park Act by allowing 50-year leases on the larger buildings, and expanding the uses permitted in the park. This would open up Callan Park to commercial activities,” said Mayor Porteous.

“This is what the Inner West has been fearing for 20 years – that the NSW Government will sell off Callan Park to the highest bidder,” she said.

“How many times do we have to say this: ‘Callan Park is not for sale – Hands Off!’

“This Bill also fails to deliver a Callan Park Trust, with the proposed Community Trustee Boards a weak, toothless and an unacceptable alternative.

“We also need to get to bottom of what is really happening with the EOI process on the Kirkbride building and why the successful bidder is yet to be publicly announced.

“Callan Park is a jewel and it is our jewel. We applaud the recent restoration works undertaken by the NSW Government but there needs to be a much greater commitment to Callan Park. Selling off a big chunk of the park and effectively privatising it is not the answer,” Mayor Porteous said.

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