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 -  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)

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Page last updated: 14 May 2021