Over 100 people braved the rain to rally in support of the return of mental health services to Callan Park and to call on the NSW government to implement the Master Plan.
Greens MP Jamie Parker said:
“The Master Plan was developed when I was mayor of Leichhardt Council and has since been supported by a wide range of mental health NGOs, consumers and professionals, as well as the community.
“The community is rightly concerned that the government will not support the implementation of the Master Plan and will disregard the hard-won consensus for the return of mental health services.
“Sufferers of mental illness often face social isolation, high suicide risk, shortened lives, jail, homelessness, stigma and a range of physical health problems.
“We are fighting for the implementation of the Master Plan to ensure they are supported and have access to the services they require.
“This community has battled for decades to defend and increase mental health services at Callan Park and I congratulate the strong community campaigners and mental health professionals who have been involved in this important campaign,” Mr Parker said.
Friends of Callan Park spokesperson Sue Steedman said:
“The NSW Ambulance Service has moved to commandeer cottages purpose-built for mental health use. This is part of a creeping annexation of parts of Callan Park against the intent of the award-winning Master Plan.
“Illegal commercial uses are also intruding into this extraordinary 61-hectare heritage park.
“The NSW government should stop procrastinating and adopt the Callan Park Master Plan now. Minister Hazzard has had it on his desk for 16 months now - enough said,” Ms Steedman said.
Speakers at the rally included a broad cross-section of representatives from the mental health sector, local community campaigners, Greens MP Jamie Parker and long-time president of Friends of Callan Park Hall Greenland.
More: Alison Martin 9660 7586 or 0432 941 533
March 07, 2013 at 12pm