At a glance the case for saving Callan Park

Callan Park is the Centennial Park of the inner-west — 61 hectares of beautiful foreshore parkland. It is an oasis of green space and heritage buildings in the midst of an area of burgeoning urban consolidation. It is also a site of psychiatric care and rehabilitation.

The government wants to close the hospital and now Frank Sartor wants to lease the site to SHFA – Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority – and on-lease the site to the University of Sydney.

The University of Sydney wants to tear down 117 buildings. Apart from the Kirkbride complex, Garry Owen and adjoining building, and the 1885 Convalescent Cottages only six buildings will remain. There has been no community discussion about the definition of “intrusive building” and no effort to explore renovation.

The University of Sydney has shown complete disdain for the community.

  • It plans to change the hard won legislation – Callan Park (Special Provisions) Act 2002 – which the community achieved and build 15 or 16 buildings across the middle of Callan Park – buildings of 3 & 4 storey high – higher than any of the buildings it plans to tear down.
  • Accommodate 700 students (50% of whom will be international)
  • Provide facilities for 5,000 staff and students
  • 1400 car spaces
  • Establish new roads
  • Increase vehicular access to the site
  • Destroy trees and landscape
  • YET at the same time the University says it has no plans in place for the new buildings

It doesn’t take much imagination to realise all this would ruin the site and traffic will impinge the locality.

In 2007 the University of Sydney celebrated the glories of Prince Alfred Hospital’s 125th year. In 2007 Callan Park Hospital (formally Rozelle Psychiatric Hospital) marked its 131st year providing psychiatric services to the people of New South Wales. No celebrations … only shredding records and closure.

Callan Park should remain in full public ownership now and forever’ according to Tom Uren, Minister in the Whitlam and Hawke Labor governments.