The "desperate need" for a Nowra bypass has come under the spotlight again as gridlocked traffic has returned to the Princes Highway, particularly on weekends as holidaymakers make their way to South Coast villages.
Two separate petitions have emerged from two local members on different sides of politics.
Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips, launched her Nowra Bypass Now petition on Monday, November 29, after she delivered a speech at parliament.
Ms Phillips called out the State Government for a "lack of drive" in pushing for a bypass.
"We have a New South Wales Government that has been in power since 2011. Ten years of state Coalition Government and not one bo-peep about the Nowra bypass," she said in her speech.
"Three NSW Liberal MPs in my electorate in Gilmore and yet no willingness or drive for a bypass - none."
Ms Phillips said she was "totally fed up" and "gobsmacked" that more effort hadn't already gone into pursuing a Nowra bypass, especially at the same time funding groundwork was being laid for the Nowra bridge project.
"'I've been surprised that...between all the levels of government, it just seems to be in the too hard basket, and no one is going near it," she told the South Coast Register.
"We need the new Nowra bridge, absolutely. But a lot of that traffic is just traveling through town.
"I think that's the thing that annoys me most is that this is about making Nowra a better place for local businesses, and for workers and families and everyone."
In other news:
However, Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward, said his next major focus would be to secure a commitment for the Nowra Bypass after he secured other projects like the Gerringong Upgrade, the Berry Bypass, the Albion Park Rail Bypass and the South Nowra Upgrade.
"I am absolutely proud of the things that I've been able to deliver as a local member," said Mr Ward.
He kicked off a 'Back the Bypass' campaign and launched an online petition on Wednesday, December 1.
"We'll be taking the fight (for the bypass) up to whoever is in government ahead of the federal election and of course, state elections," said Mr Ward.
Mr Ward said the bypass would attract more jobs to the area.
"This is not just about clearing out traffic congestion on one of the most notorious sections of road in the state," said Mr Ward. "It's also about job generation.
"We've seen locals get a chance to work on many of these projects. But we've also seen trainees and apprentices getting their first chance, Aboriginal employment targets, women in non traditional roles, and these jobs make a real difference."
Shoalhaven City Council candidate and Nowra-based lawyer Paul Ell joined Mr Ward and pledged to move a Notice of Motion for council to support the campaign should he be elected on Saturday, December 4.
Mr Ell said securing a Nowra bypass is "the most critical project in our community".
"I want Shoalhaven council to be all in on backing the Nowra Bypass because it's time to return the streets of Nowra back to the community of Nowra," he said.
"We're sick and tired of dealing with this week in week out scenario on a Sunday morning where you can spend hours trying to travel from South Nowra to Bomaderry.
"This is all about people's lives. We want to return the roads, return the highway back to the community and also create jobs at the same time."
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.