Politics and tourism for Western Australia, the mining state

Lesley Crowe-Delaney1

1Curtin University


Tourism in Western Australia has been disrupted by politics in an unstable state economy. While eastern Australia gains from tourism expenditure, Western Australian tourism numbers are falling or remain static. The implications are felt most in regional sectors, while tourism stakeholders fight for research funding or tourist dollars. Recent Western Australian government reorganisation has led to little redress of ineffective tourism policy. Meanwhile, a lack of experience in state government administration, national government negotiations and the complete change in a mining industry-based economy have further disrupted the state’s tourism. In contrast, national tourism policies are successful for the eastern states and national government funding support has been judicious for the Labour-run Western Australia, once a strong Liberal Party seat. This paper argues that the politics of mining versus the new ‘mining’ of tourists has discombobulated Western Australia’s tourism policymaking; a political ploy of the former Turnbull government. Furthermore, eastern-centric national tourism policy making takes little consideration of the peripheral West; a state considered to be loath to ‘share’ the earnings of its metal and minerals mining industry with the rest (east) of the nation. Is Western Australia now paying the price?


Lesley is a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Business and Law, School of Marketing, Tourism Research Center, where she is researching Australian, Japanese, Chinese and PICs tourism, fisheries, policies and politics. She has recently been invited to join the advisory board of the IGU Political Geography Committee its only Australian member. She is also collaborating with the Faculty of Science and Engineering and its working on a joint international project for disaster resilience in tourism and hospitality in the Philippines with the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute. Her book and chapters with Palgrave and Routledge are due this year.

Urban sprawl and planning for a rural-urban boundary: Evidence from Auckland, New Zealand

Dr Cristian Silva1

1University Of Auckland , Auckland, New Zealand


Although controls on urban sprawl have been widely discussed, extended suburbanisation and encroachment of rural lands remain constant, and unexplored in their potentials to articulate a distinctive geography managed by more autonomous planning figures. Based on Auckland’s urban expansion to Pukekohe and Paerata, we examine the urban-rural interactions concerning the so-called ‘Rural-Urban Boundary’ (RUB), a planning figure to control Auckland’s disperse suburban growth. What is demonstrated is that the RUB emerges as a strategic planning tool to shift the unsustainable character of Auckland’s urban sprawl in comparison to traditional urban limits and green belts. However, this strategic potential of the RUB is undermined by its purely regulatory character, more closely related to traditional zoning rather than strategic planning. On this basis, we suggest that the RUB can be a strategic figure if it complements its regulatory character with strategic decision-making to articulate zoning but also the urban, rural and environmental assets that characterise the Auckland’s peri-urban space.


Dr Cristian Silva is an Architect (ULA, Chile), Master in Architecture (PUC, Chile) and PhD in Urban Studies (UCL, UK). His research areas are centred on the explorations of contemporary patterns of urban growth and change, urban sprawl, peri-urbanisation and (post)suburbanisation, particularly focused on the implications of interstitial spaces on contemporary transformations of city-regions

Intra-periphery integration: issues of the peri-urban landscapes

Miss Jiangdi Tan1

1The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand


The current process of rapid urbanisation and urban sprawl has resulted in the polycentricity of urban form and the evolution of peri-urban landscapes. The peri-urban landscape is complex and dynamic and is a “mosaic” of urban and rural features and functions. Recent years, it is increasingly evident that peri-urban landscapes are independent and autonomous in terms of its activities, functions, and spatial expressions. Despite the rich literature addressing the centre-periphery connection of cities, current planning practice fails to acknowledge the intra-periphery integration and studies responding to this issue are scarce. This paper aims to argue that it is high time to shift the traditional planning approach focusing on ‘centre-periphery’ to ‘periphery-periphery’. Based on literature review, this paper makes an effort to identify the autonomy of peri-urban landscapes from three perspectives: the spatial features of peri-urban landscapes, the urban functions and activities with the peripheries, and the pathways of peri-urban transitions. It also shows that it would be helpful to resolve the deficient peri-urban integration through transport implementations.


Tan, Jiangdi (BEng, MSc)

PhD Candidate in Planning

Research interest: urban sprawl, peri-urban space, transport integration, active transport

Divergence and convergence in a second city: The case of Geelong, Victoria

Prof. Louise Johnson


The Australian urban system is shaped by its historical origins in separate moments of colonisation and dependent development. Six very separate colonial and then state capitals were established to become dominant primate centres. But there were other cities and towns, with distinct local economies, identities and cultures. These foundations are now shaping their current economic and social restructuring in particular ways.

Geelong, population 250 000, is Victoria’s second city. It is well connected but overshadowed by Melbourne, with its population of 5 million. The cities share an economic history. Both cities were strongly dependent on manufacturing during the 20th century but as this sector declined, they have had very different responses, with Melbourne seeking global city status as a regional finance, events and migration centre. In contrast, Geelong has built upon its identity as a regional “Pivot” with a sense of difference built upon its waterfront, wool exports, textile and car industries and recent growth in service sector employment – particularly in health, education and insurance. It is a pattern of economic convergence but also social divergence. While connected to Melbourne for employment and migrants, the city retains a distinct cultural identity, most evident in its football team but also in its governance structures, which have effectively mobilised community and business interests to secure state largesse and harness local enterprise. This paper will document the processes by which this second city has successfully transitioned from a manufacturing to service sector city while maintaining its separate identity.


Bio to come

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