State Government backflips on Callan Park Skate Park
Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne has slammed the State Government’s decision to prevent the building of a fully funded skate park in Callan Park.
Late last year, the newly elected Council ordered a report into finding ways of bringing forward the long-delayed construction of a $900,000 skate park in Callan Park.
Council officers had worked with the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) to find a new location for the park, which had tacit approval from the OEH.
But the OEH, which has responsibility for Callan Park, has confirmed that it will not allow the skate park to go ahead at the new location.
“Young people and the young at heart have been fighting for more than a decade to have a skate park built in our area,” said Mayor Byrne.
“But Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton and the Government have messed around for years requiring Council to pay for new plans at different locations within the park, despite the project being fully funded by Council.”
Mayor Byrne said it was another example of the State Government’s attack on the inner west.
“First, they took aim at the inner west’s unique community, culture and heritage and decided to destroy it through overdevelopment.
“Last week, incompetent Transport Minister Andrew Constance finally confirmed ‘the worst kept secret in town’ and privatised our vital bus services.
“Now Minister Upton is letting down the youth of inner west through delay, obfuscation and outright obstruction,” he said.
Earlier this month, the Inner West Council opened a brand-new, $2 million state-of-the-art Skate Park at Sydenham Green.
“Skaters from all over Sydney have flocked to Sydenham Green, saying it is one of the best in the city. It’s frustrating we can’t build a similar facility in Callan Park,” said Mayor Byrne.
“Now Minister Upton has sent her bureaucrats out to say that the project should be killed off altogether. They are too gutless to put it in writing or actually talk to the young people who will miss out, but have informed Council verbally of the terrible news,” said Mayor Byrne.
Mayor Byrne is calling on the community to contact Minister Upton at (02) 9326 1856 or firstname.lastname@example.org to urge her to reverse her opposition to the Skate Park.
Multi-award winning actor and skate park advocate Bryan Brown has also expressed dismay at the decision. He will be joining Mayor Byrne next week to film a video, which will ask the community to rally against the State Government’s snub of inner west sporting facilities.
Skate Park Timeline
November 2011: Council submits Callan Park Master Plan, including a provision for a Skate Park, to the State Government.
December 2011-2014: State Government refuses to act on Callan Park Master Plan.
December 2014: Council completes design plans for Callan Park Skate Park.
December 2015: Council given approval to lodge Development Application.
March 2016: Heritage Council refuses to support the Development Application.
January 2017: New site identified in Callan Park. Informal approval and support from OEH.
December 2017: Council receives confirmation that OEH will not support the new site.
February 2018: OEH informs Council it will not support a Skate Park in Callan Park