Callan Park goes to the dogs as off-leash areas come into effect


City Secretary Rob Stokes said the final plan was the result of lengthy consultations with the community and would end the uncertainty that has haunted Callan Park for too long.

Dogs must be on a lead throughout the rest of the park and throughout the park from 10 PM to 5 AM every evening to protect native wildlife.

The designated off-leash areas will start on July 1.

The designated off-leash areas will start on July 1.Credit:NSW government

The plan covers the 38-acre Callan Park managed by the Greater Sydney Parklands Trust. It does not apply to NSW Health’s 22 acres, where dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.

Residents will receive information leaflets in their mailboxes and signs will be placed at the park to notify dog ​​owners of the new restrictions.

Balmain Greens MP Jamie Parker said rangers would patrol the park, with an initial focus on educating dog owners about the new rules, rather than fining people.


“I’m going to make sure this isn’t about increasing revenue, because it should be about education and supporting the community to share this space,” he said.

Dark rules for dog owners attracted renewed attention when the park, on the border of Rozelle and Lilyfield, came under the management of the Greater Sydney Parklands Trust.

For years, local residents have ignored rules requiring dog owners to keep their pets on a lead while walking most of the 60-acre property.

But the trust’s repetition of those rules sparked fears of a crackdown on pet owners, despite the Inner West Council’s insistence that it had no intention of enforcing the ban on stray dogs.


The issue prompted Stokes, who was then minister for land use and public space, to consult the community about a pet policy for the park, arguing residents needed clear rules.

Larkin said: “We very much hope that the rangers brought in by the Greater Sydney Parklands Trust will be helpful and supportive in the early stages as there will be a lot of confusion.”

Friends of Callan Park president Hall Greenland believed tensions between dog owners and other park users had been exaggerated, but he was optimistic the plan would allay any animosity.

“It seems fair and balanced. It protects the First Nations and heritage features of the park and protected areas in the bush, and it gives the dogs a fair chance.”

The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights of the day. Register here