Brief window to change Callan Park (SMH)

An eclectic vision will be exhibited for public comment, writes Josephine Tovey.

AN INNER-CITY farm, a skate park, new sporting fields and a range of services and accommodation for people with severe mental illness: that's the vision for one of Sydney's oldest and most fiercely protected stretches of waterfront.

Today the draft masterplan for Callan Park in Rozelle goes on public exhibition, which articulates a vision for a ''wellness sanctuary'' containing mental health services, artistic facilities and rejuvenated recreational space.

It is now up to the people of Sydney to shape the final plan to come in December. Do they support accommodation for people with a mental illness? Do they want a skate park? Do they want animals roaming in the on-site farm?

But the biggest question concerning the park's future is yet to come: who will pay for it?
The mayor of Leichhardt, Jamie Parker, said the council wanted at least the same amount from the state government as it currently gives to SHFA annually - and would be seeking federal funding and grants for the additional projects.

Possibilities for raising funds from the site itself are limited by the Callan Park Act 2002, which restricts commercial operations and prohibits construction outside the built footprint.

''We can't generate the kind of revenue from the site that one can generate from say, Centennial Park,'' said Cr Parker.

''We want to work with goodwill with the state government.''

Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

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