Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Geography


The study examines the mechanism of policy formulation and locational decision-making as it relates to the provision of transport infrastructure and specifically port-oriented coal transport infrastructure in southern New South. Wales. The analysis reveals that traditional geographic theories and positivist decision-making models are simplistic and do not accurately account for location decision-making. Rather it was found that location decisions, as well as implementation are, in fact, a product of complex political processes. The study demonstrates that even when coordinated and integrated planning does occur for the provision of transport infrastructure, the implementation stage of the decision-making process is disjointed and uncoordinated and reflects the incremental nature of the implementation stage of the process. Incremental Ism reflects the inability or reluctance of Government to act or to provide resources sufficient for the completion of the policy plan. It reflects, also, the role of powerful vested interest groups on decision-makers. The study revealed that pressure may be exerted by influential lobby and interest groups, including trade unions, and that their participation may prove sufficiently powerful to force modification of policy plans or cause abandonment of a project altogether.