Looking good!


UPDATE, December 8, 2011: Plantings are underway in amongst the blue metal. See Mike Gillam’s comment below for the latest.
Yeperenye Pty Ltd appears to be putting itself in contention for the Alice Springs landscape design award, with this effort at its carpark adjacent to the ANZ bank on Parsons Street.
After chopping down mature trees, including a number of river gums, and clearing all other vegetation from the area in late October, the company promised that a “beautification program” would follow shortly.  It was to include “smaller, safer trees and shrubs”. Perhaps they’re coming, though not many people would start a garden by spreading thick piles of blue metal.
The river gum stumps – trees that were to form an important visual link in the Parsons Street revitalisation plans – have been poisoned to prevent regrowth.
Watch out, landlord of the Coles complex, you may get knocked off the pedestal earned by your efforts last year (pictured left, image from our archive). I never fail to stop and admire this scene when I walk by.
Photo  of the ANZ carpark (above) taken by ALEX NELSON on November 30.
The Alice Springs News Online has invited Yeperenye Pty Ltd to respond. To date they have not done so.
Previous reports:
Chainsaw rules in Parsons Street
Felled trees: Q&A – land owners mum on revitalisation plans
Council will look at tree register and by-law


  1. By chance I met with a director of Yeperenye Pty Ltd on Tuesday, December 6 and raised the subject of the ANZ carpark. I discussed current plans to upgrade pedestrian amenity in the eastern portion of Parsons street and the two-way benefits of integrating businesses with the adjacent public domain.
    I suggested the loss of red gums from the car-park (identified as a stepping point in the sightline to the river *) had triggered a re-thinking of landscaping proposed for the street. Essentially the eastern end of Parsons Street is now a blank canvas.
    I highlighted the importance of DESIGN incorporating low maintenance trees that would bring architectural form and rhythm to the car park boundary on Parsons Street and the corner facing Leichhardt Tce.
    I sought to influence only the primary trees because these represent a long-term investment in the street. Decorative shrubs and secondary trees are less critical. I suggested the slender trunked Eucalyptus thozetiana as a group planting. This attractive endemic can be planted close together so the compact, high canopies touch and form useful shade but still allow some penetration of low angled winter sunlight onto the opposite (southern) side of the street. In addition to winter sunlight the virtual absence of low branches provides clear sight lines that enhance public safety especially where footpaths and car-parking cross-overs intersect.
    A few hours later I was able to show two people from Yeperenye management what can be achieved with this species and answer their questions concerning building maintenance issues. They were satisfied with my advice and urged me to ring their landscaping contractor who was preparing to install plants the very next day.
    I met with the landscaper early Wednesday morning and to cut a long story short he was very reasonable and flexible. He had already purchased his selection of plants and these were on site. None-the-less he cheerfully agreed to adjust some of his planting scheme at very short notice – I drove to a nursery and they gave us their best stock at a “community development” price. If the tree guards work 10 Eucalyptus thozetiana will grace the street and create three elegant focal points on the boundary between the car-park and footpaths. Within five years they will visibly soften the many hard surfaces and in 12-15 years they will expand the vision of the street and lift our gaze.
    In the rich alluvial soil these seedlings should grow quickly and as mature trees they will collectively pump thousands of litres of water each day to cool their leaves. Unlike grass lawns these living pumps will provide a direct and tangible benefit to the adjacent Todd River with its elevated water table. Unlike grass lawns they won’t need constant watering beyond an initial establishment period. While design on the run is not ideal I’d like to thank those generous people who modified their private development plans in an attempt to integrate with, and enhance, the public domain.
    * footnote: “… Protect existing mature red gums including those in the car-park behind ANZ. Visually these provide a vital stepping point in the sight line between the ancient red gum and the red gum community in the Todd River …” from “Revealing the Spirit of Parsons Street (2011)”.


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