KIAMA MP Gareth Ward has called on the NSW Government to start investigating a bypass of Nowra and says he has the "steel caps polished up" and the "knuckledusters read" for a stoush.
Mr Ward raised the issue of the much talked about bypass in NSW Parliament this week, while speaking in a debate about building a better future for NSW.
The Independent Member for Kiama, who is now sitting on the cross benches, has urged the government to start investigating the Nowra Bypass.
"It is important we look at projects that will redevelop regional NSW," he said.
"I urge the government to investigate the work that needs to be done around the Nowra Bypass.
Read more: Western Bypass of Nowra - where does it go?
"We've seen a hell of a lot of construction work happening in my electorate in relation to roads and I'm very proud of that - the Gerringong upgrade, the Albion Park Bypass, the Berry Bypass."
I've run successful campaigns before and have had the largest investment in South Coast roads in our history and I'm ready to shine up the steel caps and don the knuckle dusters and am ready to go.Kiama MP Gareth Ward
Of course work is also underway on the Berry to Bomaderry Princes Highway Upgrade and the new $342 million Nowra bridge over the Shoalhaven River.
"But what we see now is people getting to Nowra and more traffic congestion," he said.
"It can't be something that you wait for in order to do the property acquisition, to do the design, to do the geotechnical work.
"If you want to continue to rebuild this state we need to make sure we invest in infrastructure which is critical."
Speaking after the debate Mr Ward said he "loves building roads and getting things done" but there "needs to be more of it."
"This is not only about congestion now, in and around Nowra - I want to see employment and job generation and that comes from major infrastructure," he said.
"I have raised the Nowra Bypass in parliament before and will continue to do so."
However, he admitted any Nowra Bypass would "take a long time".
"It's going to take time to deliver - but every journey starts somewhere," he said.
"I've run successful campaigns before and have had the largest investment in South Coast roads in our history and I'm ready to shine up the steel caps and don the knuckle dusters and am ready to go."
As for the cost of such a project, he said there is a long way to go and a number of things that have to be done to even get to that stage.
"We need to do an analysis of the project - find out about land ownership and what land needs to be acquired and undertake geotechnical investigations," he said.
We need to do an analysis of the project - find out about land ownership and what land needs to be acquired and undertake geotechnical investigations.Kiama MP Gareth Ward
"All that does not happen overnight but we need to start.
"I won't continue to stop fighting for my electorate - and I'm happy to work with my fellow members but we also have a federal election coming up and I would like to see a serious commitment from both sides - put some money on the table.
"Both sides need to make a fair dinkum commitment and not the pocket change like Labor offered for the Nowra bridge last time.
"They both need to make a serious strategic investment.
"A Nowra Bypass is not just a line on a map and it's not just about relieving traffic congestion.
"It's about further opening up opportunities for the South Coast - in industrial expansion, jobs in general to defence jobs that could all be better serviced by this major infrastructure."
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