Degree Name

Master of Science (Hons.)


Department of Geography


The City of Greater Wollongong and the adjacent Municipality of Shellharbour lie 80 km south of Sydney on the New South Wales coast, spreading across a narrow coastal plain onto the slopes of the Illawarra escarpment. Originally a collection of small farming and mining villages, the urban area has - particularly since the development of a major steel plant and associated industries - coalesced into a continuous ribbon housing over 180,000 people. Suburbs have increasingly spread onto the escarpment foothills, although these slopes have a long history of instability. Many landslides were recorded even in the early days of settlement and very wet years, such as 1950 and 1974, have triggered major movements that destroyed or severely damaged houses.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.