Meeting calls for councils to maintain authority over parklands, Callan Park

Campaigning for Callan Park at Orange Grove Markets. Photo: Friends of Callan Park/Facebook

A well-attended online meeting entitled “Hands off Callan Park”, organised by Inner West Council (IWC) on October 27, discussed the NSW government’s draft bill covering Sydney parklands.

The (Exposure Bill) Greater Sydney Parklands Trust Bill 2021, released on October 1, hands power to corporations seeking to profit from some of Sydney’s most iconic  green spaces, including Callan Park. Commercial leases of up to 50 years would be offered for some of the most iconic buildings on the site.

Hall Greenland from Friends of Callan Park described this as “privatisation by stealth — gutting the Callan Park Act for commercial gain”.

The government wants to remove council as the consent authority and change the Callan Park (Special Provisions) Act 2002. This will lead to privatisation and commercialisation, which Inner West residents have opposed for decades and are determined to stop Callan Park form being sold off to the highest bidder.

Speakers included Inner West Mayor Rochelle Porteous, Aaron Callaghan, IWC Parks and Recreation Planning Manager, lawyer Sue Puckeridge, Councillor Darcy Byrne and Councillor John Stamolis.

[Help defeat this bad bill by making a submission. The deadline is October 29.]