Callan Park future

Callan Park is large parkland at Iron Cove in Lilyfield. At over 60 hectares and equivalent to the size of the Sydney Botanical Gardens, Callan Park is one of the largest and most regionally significant public facilities in Sydney’s inner west. Built as an enlightened hospital for the insane in 1885, it has a number of exceptional heritage buildings.

The park is managed by Greater Sydney Parklands. Inner West Council manages the Balmain Road and Glover Street sporting grounds only.

Latest news

Council's submission to the Legislative Council enquiry

On 24 December 2021, Council lodged a submission to the NSW Legislative Council's Select Committee Enquiry into the Greater Sydney Parklands Trust Bill 2021.

Council carefully reviewed the bill and continues to raise the fundamental issue that there should be no changes to the Callan Park (Special Provisions) Act 2002. This remains a serious concern to Council in respect of the proper management of Callan Park.

NSW Callan Park Companion Management Plan - On exhibition 

Council would like to know your views on the NSW Government's draft Companion Animal Management Plan (CAMP) for Callan Park. This plan has been prepared by Greater Sydney Parklands.

Submission close 9 February 2022.  Have your say here

Hands off Callan Park Online Meeting - 27 October 

The NSW Government released the Exposure Bill: Greater Sydney Parklands Trust. It is proposing changes to the way Callan Park is managed.

Council held an online public meeting to discuss the Bill and what Council is doing. Watch a recoding of the meeting below. 

Hands off Callan Park public meeting presentation (PDF 8.8MB)

Council's submission on the Exposure Bill

The NSW Government released the Exposure Bill; Greater Sydney Parklands Trust on Friday 1 October. The document proposes changes to the way Callan Park is managed.

Read Council's submission on the Exposure Bill (PDF 270.3KB) 

Free posters for residents to display

Council has printed some free Hands off Callan Park signage (A1 size) if residents are interested in displaying these at their homes. The signs are available from Balmain Library and Leichhardt Customer Service Centre.

August 2021

Construction work at Callan Park starting August 2021

Greater Sydney Parklands (GSP) is beginning preparatory work in mid-August as part of Stage 1 of waterfront revitalisation, and includes the demolition of buildings 505 and 514 as well as new turfing.

Work on site will take approximately 11 weeks and will be permitted between the hours of 7:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday. Minor works may take place on Saturdays between 8:00am to 1:00pm.

Changes to vehicle access and parking in Callan Park during works

Public access to Callan Park and the Bay Run will be maintained – however changes to vehicle access and parking will be required. During the construction period:

  • Construction vehicles will access the waterfront from Wharf Road. A Traffic Management Plan will be in place to minimise disruption to residents and park users.
  • Parking on Wharf Road will be restricted to enable the safe passage of vehicles and construction traffic.
  • Access to the COVID-19 testing clinic at the University of Tasmania will be re-routed through the entrance at Gate A during times of high testing demand.

For further information visit the Greater Sydney Parklands website.

April 2021

The Greater Sydney Parklands (GSP) is undertaking community and stakeholder consultation to inform the development of a Companion Animal Management Plan (CAMP) for Callan Park. Have your say on the issue at the GSP website (external site) until 12 May 2021

September 2020

The NSW Government released the Draft Landscape Structure Plan for Callan Park.

The plan can be viewed at the NSW Government Planning Portal

Feedback from the community on the plan and its vision closed on 14 September 2020.

Inner West Council's position

In October 2017, one of the first acts of the newly elected Inner West Council was to adopt a policy position in support of the establishment of a Callan Park Trust to govern the site and the implementation of the Callan Park Master Plan (October 2017). 

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said six years after the former Leichhardt Council submitted the award-winning Callan Park Master Plan to the NSW State Government, Callan Park is still facing demolition by neglect.

“We are committed to a future for the site that protects its open space and heritage, provides space for recreation, and develops health,community and education facilities,” he said.

Callan Park Master Plan

Callan Park is owned and managed by the NSW State Government. Master planning of the site is a state government responsibility however the former Leichhardt Council took on this challenge as a result of many previous unsuccessful state government attempts.After 18 months of community consultation Leichhardt Council in 2011 adopted a Master Plan for the site. The State Government however has not adopted the Master Plan. 
Read the complete Callan Park Master Plan (PDF 30.7MB) here

History of the Master Plan

The Callan Park Master Plan has been structured around the objectives of the Callan Park (Special Provisions) Act 2002:

  • preserving open space and heritage
  • providing active and passive recreation space, and
  • developing health, community and education facilities.

The final draft of the Callan Park Master Plan took 18 months with a community engagement process where 2000 people took part through workshops, drop in events and an interactive website.

There has been strong support for the continuation of mental health services on the site.

There has also been strong community support throughout the entire consultation process for maintaining the entire Callan Park Site as a single entity.

The Callan Park Master Plan recommends the establishment of a Trust as the governing body.

Management of Callan Park

The Master Plan recommends that Callan Park be run by an independent Trust – the Callan Park and Broughton Hall Trust. Consultation for the Master Plan demonstrated overwhelming community support for the establishment of a Trust to manage the Site.

In recognition of the complex issues the Trust will deal with in governing the Site, it will be made up of the following trustees:

  • One appointed by the Governor from the local council area to represent the traditional owners.
  • Three appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Premier to represent the relevant
  • State Government Ministers in relation to Heritage, Health and Environmental considerations.
  • Three appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of relevant local Council area, at least 1 of who has expertise in heritage.
  • One appointed by the Governor to represent Mental Health Consumers.
  • One appointed by the Governor from the local council area to represent the Friends of Callan Park.
  • One appointed by the Governor to represent Educational /Arts tenants/lessees eg the Sydney College of the Arts.
  • One appointed by the Governor from the local council area to represent Sporting Bodies.
  • One appointed by the Governor to represent Not for Profit Organisations (NGOs) which are tenants/lessees e.g. WHOS.

Each trustee must also have expertise in at least one of the following areas, and there must be a diversity of expertise within the trust membership:

  • park management
  • cultural heritage management
  • local community affairs
  • landscape history
  • finance
  • planning law
  • environment
  • mental health
  • arts

Friends of Callan Park

The history of the fight to save Callan Park from developers and to save Rozelle Mental Health Hospital is a proud history of the long collaboration between the Friends of Callan Park, the former Leichhardt Council and now Inner West Council.
Visit the Friends of Callan Park website for more information

Media releases and presentations

19 February 2018 – State Government backflips on Callan Park Skate Park

15 February 2018 - Presentation to Community of Callan Park Future

6 February 2018 – Meeting to outline the future of Callan Park

31 October 2017 – Council awaits government green light on Waterfront Oval upgrade

18 October 2017 – Council pushes ahead with Callan Park recreation plans

4 April 2017 – Callan Park Master Plan awaits green light

23 March 2017 – New Plans developed for Callan Park Skate Park

Other plans

Callan Park Plan of Management (PDF 132.1MB)
Callan Park Conservation Management Plan (PDF 82.3MB)

Rate this page

  • Rate as The content was useful51.28% The content was useful votes
  • Rate as The content was not useful48.72% The content was not useful votes

Thanks for your feedback. We will use this data to improve the content of this page.

Page last updated: 24 Dec 2021