Vincentia Matters secretary Liz Tooley is among residents who have finally exhaled, and bade adieu to the scores of visitors in the area over the summer break.
On Monday, however, her blood pressure climbed again when the state government announced its marine tourism strategy for the South Coast.
The plan is to facilitate tourism growth from 10 million visitors per year in 2017 to 14 million by 2030.
“It’s all very well to increase our tourism numbers, but if the infrastructure’s not there, it’s not fair on tourists or residents,” Mrs Tooley said.
“The Jervis Bay Road [and Princes Highway] intersection is just the tip of the iceberg, but it is the most noticeable issue because of the traffic chaos during peak times.
“All levels of government have to address the problem. We see two elections coming up, there’s a lot of money being thrown around in Sydney – we are taxpayers too.”
Mrs Tooley, who attended the ALP’s public forum at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre last week, does not foresee an election promise from Labor addressing the Jervis Bay Road logjam.
“Bill Shorten said he was aware of the problem, Fiona Phillips had briefed him on it, and Michael Daley said his first priority, once reelected, was to visit the intersection,” Mrs Tooley said
“There’s no promise coming.”
She said she would continue to lobby politicians in lead up to state and federal elections.
Meanwhile, the Greens have described the plans touted by Kiama MP Gareth Ward as a blueprint for the over-development and commercialisation of the South Coast.
Greens MP and South Coast and Illawarra spokesman Justin Field described the plan as a pre-election thought-bubble that failed to recognise and protect the environmental values that make the South Coast marine environment such a fantastic place to visit.
"When the community hears the terms like ‘foreshore precinct and harbour activation’, they know it’s code for more residential development and commercialisation along our coastline and they are are right to be concerned,” he said.
"This plan looks more like a blueprint for developers rather than a plan for a sustainable tourism industry.
"The Greens support a vibrant tourism economy and the jobs and opportunities that creates, but the permanent communities who live on the South Coast want to see that matched with quality infrastructure that can handle the visitors and want to ensure new development is done in a way protects the environmental values of the coastline.”
Greens South Coast Candidate Kim Stephenson highlighted major issues caused by tourism growth.
"We've seen ongoing traffic, parking, waste and pollution issues, some of which have been a result of unsustainable development and an under-investment in services to support the population boom in holiday periods,” Ms Stephenson said.
"Hyams Beach is a classic example of what can happen when coastal tourism popularity overwhelms local infrastructure and services.”
Greens Kiama Candidate Nina Digiglio said people come to this area for holidays to enjoy the pristine nature of the coastal environment.
“We need to make sure that is preserved for the future,” she said.