MEDIA RELEASE - June 4, 2015
The campaign to protect the ‘jewel of the inner west’ took a significant step forward on Thursday when parliament agreed to secure the future of Callan Park.
“I have been actively involved in the Callan Park campaign for ten years, and today represents a significant breakthrough,” said Jamie Parker MP, Greens Member for Balmain.
“The NSW Legislative Assembly today agreed* to establish a specialised trust, finalise the master plan and develop “a sustainable long-term funding model to secure the protection of Callan Park in perpetuity”.
“Many residents throughout the inner west are acutely aware of the vulnerable status of the 60 hectares of open space, heritage buildings and community activities on the site following repeated attempts by the previous Labor government to carve off sections for residential development.
“This spectacular site surrounded by some of the most densely populated suburbs in Sydney harbours space for healing, active and passive recreation, creativity, and contemplation. It also offers purpose-built facilities for desperately needed mental health services.
“An award-winning draft master plan, prepared by Leichhardt Council after extensive community engagement, was presented to the then Planning Minister in 2011. For nearly four years the community has waited anxiously for the government to respond.
“Having already met with the new Minister for Planning, the Hon. Rob Stokes, I am now encouraged by parliament’s support for breaking the impasse that has resulted in a complete lack of action.
“Today we have broken the political deadlock and the community can look forward to working collaboratively with government to save this significant site for future generations,” said Mr Parker.
*Jamie Parker MP, Member for Balmain, moved the following motion on 4 June 2015 which received unanimous support -
“That this house calls on the government to secure the future of Callan Park by:
- Implementing a Callan Park Trust;
- Working with the Trust to finalise a Callan Park Master Plan noting the principles of the current draft Callan Park Master Plan; and
- Ensuring that the Callan Park Master Plan includes a sustainable long-term funding model to secure the protection of Callan Park in perpetuity”
For further comment from Jamie Parker: 0413 581 603 (Lesa de Leau)