Community and sporting groups will soon enjoy fully functioning facilities at Callan Park with the development of two ovals.
As part of the Callan Park Master Plan, the State Government has given inprinciple support for Leichhardt
Council to proceed with the upgrade of the Glover St and Balmain Rd ovals.
Mayor of Leichhardt, Rochelle Porteous said both ovals should be completed and ready for use by summer, including all traffic
“Council has to prepare a traffic and parking management plan – that’s a requirement from the State Government.”
Council is applying for grants for both ovals with funding already allocated for public amenities at Balmain Rd costing $35,000, Ms Porteous said.
Councillor John Stamolis said: “Such an addition of new sporting fields in our Municipality has not been seen for decades.”
As part of the development, Council has given community members and sporting clubs the opportunity for input through an Expressions of Interest process (EOI).
The Council must reach a decision on both ovals in June.
“The EOI is to get an indication from the various sporting clubs on how they want to use the field, that will guide us on how best to develop it,” Ms Porteous said.
The EOI for Glover St are now closed, however Balmain Rd is open until May 18.
President of the Balmain District Football Club (BDFC), Brian Frankham said it will be a great boost to sporting clubs in
the area and highlighted that it has been a long time coming.
The BDFC hopes the ovals will remain versatile and for general purposes.
“The worse thing that could probably happen from our perspective is if they turn it into a baseball or hockey field
where other people can’t use it,” he said.
Ms Porteous said she wouldn’t want to anticipate the recommendations because they will depend on what EOI they receive and the outcome of their assessments.
President of Friends of Callan Park, Hall Greeland, raised concerns about cherry picking elements of the Master Plan
which may undermine the urgency to adopt and fund the whole plan.
“Friends are still concerned the grants of the ovals to Council will encourage the State to holdback on establishing the Callan Park
& Broughton Hall Trust to manage this iconic site,” Mr Greenland said.
“Heritage buildings are still being demolished by neglect and there is no progress on the much needed mental health facilities.”
Mr Frankham argued that Friends of Callan Park shouldn’t hold their kids to ransom while the State Government considered
everything in the Master Plan.
Ms Porteous said she is personally meeting with all the relevant Ministries and stakeholders and is committed to establishing mental health facilities as soon as possible.
She said the State Government has assured her that it will have reached a decision on the Callan Park
Master Plan by June or July.