On Monday, while residents and tourists were stuck in gridlock along the Princes Highway, the federal Labor Party upped the stakes in what has become a key issue in Gilmore.
A Shorten-Labor government has pledged to accelerate safety upgrades to the Princes Highway south of Nowra.
The ALP will bring forward $100 million in federal funding, investing in road upgrades sooner than would be the case under a re-elected Morrison government.
All up, a Federal Labor Government would invest $150 million over the next four years - three times more than what is in the budget.
The Labor Party's total commitment to the highway would be the same as the Coalition's $500 million.
The ALP hopes to partner with the NSW to expedite work on the following projects:
- Upgrading the intersection between Jervis Bay Road and the highway.
- Straightening and upgrading the four kilometre section of the highway just south of Batemans Bay known as the "Mad Mile"
- Duplicating sections between Jervis Bay Road and Sussex Inlet Road
- Construction of the Moruya Bypass
- Detailed planning work for the Milton and Ulladulla Bypass
- Upgrades to the highway from Burrill Lake to Batemans Bay.
"Projects like these will create hundreds of construction jobs on the South Coast and boost productivity by reducing traffic congestion for local residents, tourists and truck drivers," Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Anthony Albanese said.
"But most importantly, this work will improve road safety."
Between July 2012 and June 2017, there were 1,494 crashes on the Princes Highway from Jervis Bay Road to the Victorian border, resulting in 30 fatalities and 350 serious injuries.
Sadly, between December 2017 and June 2018, eight people lost their lives in accidents on the highway.
"Federal Labor is determined to provide real money for real projects that will make a real difference for the communities that live up and down the Princes Highway - and do it sooner," Mr Albanese said.
"The South Coast and regional Australia need infrastructure investment now, not years from now and Federal Labor stands ready to work cooperatively with the state government to make sure that happens."