Long-time Nowra resident Bill Hancock is never afraid to put his point of view forward on issues he believes would better the Shoalhaven.
He has come up with ideas from outside the square to try and solve Nowra's traffic and parking problems and even suggested a new more centralised hospital be built in the Shoalhaven on a greenfield site rather than spending $434 million on redeveloping the current hospital location overlooking the Shoalhaven River.
He has now weighed into the contentious Shoalhaven River bridge replacement and the vexing topic of a western Nowra bypass.
At a time when the Federal Government is looking for infrastructure projects to further boost economic growth, from far left field Mr Hancock has even suggested any western bypass of Nowra should also include facility for an extension of the railway system to link the coast to places like Canberra, Goulburn and on to Melbourne.
But first the new Shoalhaven River crossing.
"We are kidding ourselves if we think replacing a bridge is going to fix our problems," he said.
"A new Shoalhaven River bridge and two extra lanes of traffic will only make Nowra's traffic congestion worse.
"If a sink isn't emptying rapidly enough by pouring more water into it you are only going to make it overflow more.
"The argument on whether it is local or through traffic on the "supposed" Nowra Bypass makes no difference, the traffic chokepoints on any day of the year are the intersections, traffic lights and roundabouts.
We are kidding ourselves if we think replacing a bridge is going to fix our problems. A new Shoalhaven River bridge and two extra lanes of traffic will only make Nowras traffic congestion worse. If a sink isnt emptying rapidly enough by pouring more water into it you are only going to make it overflow more.Long-time Nowra resident Bill Hancock
"Impeding the flow of traffic with intersections that cannot be easily bypassed or fixed without huge expensive rebuilds, requiring years of disruption means the East Street bypass [Princes Highway past the Shoalhaven City Administration Centre] has now reached its maximum capacity."
He said the huge NSW Government's infrastructure spend on the highway to the north, funnelling an increase in traffic through Nowra, the quantity of which is undeterminable and along with natural growth in the Shoalhaven and further down the South Coast, the undeniable prospect is that traffic will only increase.
"Adding to that the NSW Government intends to spend $434 million on demolishing and then rebuilding multi-storey on the confined Shoalhaven District Hospital site without any plans for the predictable increase in traffic," he said.
"There are no plans to improve road access for emergency vehicles or how that traffic will work in with and access to and from the hospital, the new bridge and the highway.
"All of these problems are being created by Planning NSW and Shoalhaven City Council needs to see ratepayers are not conned by accepting cost-shifting.
"Shoalhaven ratepayers should not be intimidated or forced to fund local road building costs to alleviate the problems."
He said a huge hidden cost was the future of the viability of Nowra CBD, the fast-changing habits of tech-savvy and mobile consumers combined with the plague of "rat run traffic" traffic that does not have the CBD as its destination was wreaking havoc.
"Rat run traffic problems in and around the Nowra CBD are wholly owned by the State Government," he said.
"It is inevitable congestion will only get worse and the Nowra CBD will only become a less desirable place for investors for doing business, consumers wanting convenience and for residents wanting a quite traffic friendly space where they can socialise.
"The area from the Cambewarra Road intersection south to Forest Road is doomed to be the next Albion Park.
"The electorates of Kiama and South Coast are in the rare but enviable position of having gotten two local government ministers into State Parliament; both ministers have a responsibility of seeing residents protected with definite resolutions to these problems before the political situation changes with the next election or some other unforeseen circumstance.
"It would be a regrettable memorial if the electorates were to be left high and dry in the decision making process.
"One of the obvious answers is the relocation of Shoalhaven Hospital to a site at the now geographical centre of population in the northern Shoalhaven.
The western bypass must also include facility for an extension of the railway from Meroo around to the Nerriga Road and on to connect with the southern rail system at Tarago giving rail access to Canberra, Goulburn and on to Melbourne.Long-time Nowra resident Bill Hancock
"The existing site was first proposed in 1919, that's 100 years ago and things have changed considerably since then.
"Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District has a legal duty of care to save lives by locating the hospital so 80 per cent of the population live within 20 minutes or 20 kilometres of a hospital emergency department."
He said the second "obvious answer" was the Bomaderry/Nowra western road bypass with a much needed major collector road role with several grade separated intersections providing access to Nowra and Bomaderry's urban road network.
"The western bypass must also include facility for an extension of the railway from Meroo around to the Nerriga Road and on to connect with the southern rail system at Tarago giving rail access to Canberra, Goulburn and on to Melbourne," he said.
"It also puts us into the eternal discussion of a fast rail network and the possibility of a spur line to a marina, cargo, and cruise ship terminal somewhere in Jervis Bay.
"The extension of the railway would mean Nowra/Bomaderry is no longer the end of the line and it would extend ribbon development by opening up all that country through to Canberra and its international airport with connection to 180 global destinations each day."
Mr Hancock said at present Canberra and Sydney have three daily return passenger trains and Sydney-Melbourne two.
"While the Southern Highlands exploit the Morton National Park we do not," he said.
"The railway extension has the potential to open up southern and eastern access to the Morton National Park and the western approach to the Budawangs for year-round tourism.
"Maybe Sassafras/Nerriga could become the next Katoomba destination for international tourism."