AbstractsPolitical Science

Spatial information sharing for better regional decision making

by Tamara R. Weyman

Institution: University of Western Sydney
Degree: PhD
Year: 0
Keywords: information storage and retrieval systems; geography; geographic information systems; political geography; data processing
Record ID: 1063618
Full text PDF: http://handle.uws.edu.au:8081/1959.7/17592


The overall aim of this research project was to determine whether a technological spatial innovation, such as online spatial portal (OSP), would provide an effective mechanism to support better policy dialogue between the technical capacity and decision making spheres within and between local government, enabling improved policy development and application. This was addressed by using a qualitative, multi-methodological research methodology to examine both current theory and the practical experiences and opinions of local government professionals. The literature review focused on the emerging theory field of ‘policy dialogue’ - the local governance and the importance of spatial information (SI) and geographic information systems (GIS) for supporting decisions. The interview analysis of sample Greater Western Sydney (GWS) council professionals confirmed the complexity of local government policy. A significant issue that hindered policy development across the participating local governments was the occurrence of silo cultures within internal and external relationships between council officers. The second interview phase with GWS council professionals, followed by a demonstration of an OSP concept (GWSspatial), identified the applications, opportunities and challenges for the development and use of a technological spatial innovation. The key applications identified were- sharing and knowledge management of SI, immediate management of SI, immediate online access and integration of local/regional SI, and analysis opportunities to facilitate purposeful dialogue and informed decision making by council professionals within a region. Policy framework case studies were conducted at three scales: the Pitt Town development – at LGA level; Bushfire emergency management – at cross jurisdictional level; and the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy - at regional level. The catalysts, which trigger the need, acceptance and commitment of decision makers, thereby supporting the key applications of a technological spatial innovation include disaster response, critical environment management challenges and regional land use planning and management. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)