The strategic role of ports in regional development: conceptualising the experience from Australia
Sakalayen, Q and Chen, PS-L and Cahoon, S, The strategic role of ports in regional development: conceptualising the experience from Australia, Maritime Policy and Management: An International Journal of Shipping and Port Research, 44, (8) pp. 933-955. ISSN 0308-8839 (2017) [Refereed Article]
Regional ports, as infrastructure in regions, influence transport and regional development policies and planning. The interaction and involvement of regional ports with their stakeholders in the region are pivotal. The conundrum on what constitutes a regional port and thus its region has further complicated this limited researched area. In the extant literature, port and region relationship mainly centres on major metropolitan ports, and pays little heed to regional ports. In this context, this study investigates on how the Australian regional ports can be better involved in regional development. The study adopts a qualitative methodology to explore the Australian regional port stakeholders’ perceptions on port’s role in regional development through 38 semi-structured telephone interviews. Thematic analysis of data assisted by a mixture of NVivo software and manual techniques proposes a conceptual model that may assist policy-making. The key findings suggest that symbiotic growths of ports and concerned regions accelerate regional development. To contribute to regional development, the Australian regional ports can be proactive in building collaboration with regional organisations. The findings have major implications for port managers and port policy-makers for developing a region-oriented long-term port planning and for creating environment for Australian regional ports for regional resource configuration.
Australian regional ports, regional development, port strategy, port policy, port management, regional port development