Callan Park, that rambling antidote to the concrete geometry of much of Sydney’s inner city, is crumbling in parts and will soon need a new tenant.
And yet the Berejiklian government is shedding little light on plans it might have to manage the 60-hectare parklands in Sydney’s inner west once the University of Sydney abandons an art campus, nor how it might maintain other structures in the park fallen into disrepair.
The management of Callan Park, a former mental hospital and convalescent home in Rozelle, has been a bone of contention for decades. There have been persistent calls for a trust to run the parklands and heritage buildings within them, along the lines of trusts governing the Centennial and Moore Parks and Parramatta Park. The Labor Opposition has promised a trust, while the Greens have repeatedly pushed for one.
Officials from the Office of Environment and Heritage, which has control of the park, have recently briefed locals about a landscape structure plan, which Jamie Parker, the Member for Balmain, said would cost around $6 million to implement. Mr Parker said he put to the Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, the need to fund the plan but was told funding would have to go through the budget process.