The upgrade of the Jervis Bay intersection has been debated in NSW Parliament after a Vincentia Matters petition calling for a flyover with 14,000 signature was presented.
NSW Deputy Opposition Leader Yasmin Catley tabled the petition on behalf of Vincentia Matters on Thursday, September 24.
Several MP's representing Shoalhaven and Illawarra electorates spoke in the debate including South Coast MP Shelley Hancock, Kiama MP Gareth Ward, Keira MP Ryan Park and Wollongong MP Paul Scully.
The debate in parliament on Thursday was cordial, with both Liberal and Labor politicians talking of bipartisanship.
This tone was in contrast to Shelley Hancock and Gareth Wards comments in August when they criticised Vincentia Matters for asking Ms Catley to present the petition.
"We are disappointed that the coordinators of a community petition have sought to deliver a local petition to a member of parliament several hundred kilometres away," they said in a statement.
"Vincentia Matters have sought to politicise this process and it's deeply disappointing that they do not wish to work with local MPs that our community has elected."
Speaking in parliament Ms Catley said the community was "speaking loudly and clearly, with one voice" for a flyover.
"Across all levels of government and across the political spectrum, the consensus is that the intersection must be fixed with a grade-separated interchange-in other words, a flyover," she said.
Mrs Hancock said she accepted the deputy opposition leader's point that "the intersection needs to be improved and we are trying to find the best option".
But said the government would accept Transport NSW's advice on the intersection.
"As the Deputy Leader of the Opposition pointed out, neither of us are engineers and we do not know the correct and safest option," Mrs Hancock said.
"But if that is a flyover then the government will build it and fund it, just as it has funded every other expensive project on the Princes Highway to date."
In parliament Gareth Ward thanked the petitioners.
"At the outset I thank the petitioners, the people who have signed the petition and the people who have worked diligently to collect signatures for it to make sure that everyone is aware of the views that the community wishes to express on this important issue," he said.
"I am sure we will have some very robust conversations now, but I want to assure the community that the approach the government is taking to this intersection is the same approach it has taken to other projects-evidence based, seeking to do the greatest good for the greatest number."