Rozelle Hospital at Callan Park, just behind SCA, is scheduled to be fully closed down by 30th April. It is the culmination of recent patient relocations.
Sydney University is in the final stages of negotiation to take over management of the grounds, for as yet not fully known purposes. A campus of 5000-20,000 students, with up to 500 living on site is planned.
Many, including the Friends of Callan Park (FOCP) group, are concerned that the number of beds at the new facility in Concord will be only just over half of combined Rozelle and Concord bed numbers in 2001.Rozelle still has over 200 beds, which will be reduced to 174 at Concord, which coincides with steadily decreasing number of mental health facilities all over NSW, according to Hall Greenland of Friends of Callan Park. FOCP are concerned that current and would-be patients will end up homeless or incarcerated.
Sydney University has stated that they are simply taking up an offer made to them by the State Government, and that the hospital relocation is already certain. They maintain they would be very good managers of the site – ensuring maintainence, continued public access, upgrades to sporting fields and added life in the Balmain/Rozelle area.
FOCP has answered with concerns about local parking and crowding, as well as Callan Park’s status as a community park. They insist that much of Callan Park was specifically designed and landscaped for psychiatric care in the 1920 and 30s, and should retain this function.
The long term future of SCA remains uncertain, with a move within 5-10 years to the Eveleigh railroads or another site possible.
The protest rallies will be at 11am, starting at the Cecily St entrance to Callan Park, on Sunday 20th and Sunday 27th April.
For both sides of the argument, visit