Labor will invest $10 million in Callan Park to end the Liberals' demolition by neglect

In Parliament | 13.02.19

Michael Daley and Labor will end the NSW Liberal Government’s eight long years of “demolition by neglect” of heritage-listed Callan Park and will establish a Trust to manage Callan Park into the future.

A Labor Government will allocate $10 million to restore Callan Park after years of neglect by the Liberals;

  • $5 million will be allocated to establish a public trust for Callan Park, which will operate in a similar fashion to trusts of other major parks in Sydney such as Centennial Park or Parramatta Park
  • An initial grant of $5 million will be given to the Trust to invest in priority initiatives including repairs, restorations, removal of any unsafe items and any immediate works to improve safety and amenity for park users.

Labor will also reverse the Liberals’ decision to evict Callan Park Film Production Services and will support the Balmain Para-Rowing program, including providing the program with facility access in Callan Park.

Despite being equivalent to the size of Sydney’s Botanic Gardens, and including heritage buildings such as the Kirkbride Complex, the NSW Liberals have allowed Callan Park to fall into disrepair.

The Liberals have allowed the park to lose its anchor tenant, the University of Sydney College of the Arts, which is vacating the premises from 2020. The Liberals have taken no serious action to find a replacement.

The community are concerned that the Liberals demolition by neglect of Callan Park is a deliberate strategy to try and privatise the park so heritage buildings and spaces can be opened up for commercialisation and development.

Mr Daley said, “Callan Park is one of Sydney’s iconic areas of public open space. It is a disgrace that the Liberals have allowed the park to fall into such disrepair.

“Labor will not and allow the Liberals to privatise Callan Park by stealth, instead Labor in Government will provide the funding needed to restore Callan Park.”

NSW Shadow Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe said, “The community have been crying out for proper funding for Callan Park for years. The Liberals have completely ignored them.

“Callan Park is home to the Kirkbride Complex, rare heritage listed trees, and is a site that is totally unique in NSW. Only Labor has the capacity to restore the park, and protect it for public use”, Ms Sharpe said.

NSW Labor Candidate for Balmain Elly Howse said, “I welcome Michael Daley and Labor’s announcement today, people in this community want real action on Callan Park, not more talk.

“The community in Balmain has been calling for this kind of meaningful action to restore Callan Park for many years. Only Labor can deliver the investment that this heritage site needs.”