Renewable energy and sustainable development are top on the list of priorities for the new progressive Shoalhaven councillors.
Greens candidate Dr Evan Christen and Labor's Liza Butler have both been elected to the Shoalhaven council according to ABC chief election analyst Antony Green.
While the result is yet to be confirmed, Ms Butler said she felt vindicated after listening to what she described as discontent amongst the community.
"It has been a really positive vibe, you never know if it's just the people you're talking to but everyone seemed to want change," she told the South Coast Register.
"We did run a strong campaign in all three wards with four great candidates in each which we haven't really done before.
"I put my hand up because I was listening to people say how terrible the council is, how dysfunctional they are."
With incumbent Amanda Findley leading the mayoral race with 33.8 per cent of the vote (as of 5pm, December 7), Ms Butler believes voters have pushed back against conservative politics and indicated Labor would work closely with the Greens on issues of sustainability.
"It didn't matter what Amanda did, she couldn't get anything through all the block voting [last term]," she said.
"I think there was always support there for Amanda but you can see the big swing against the Shoalhaven Independents Group.
"Local government is extremely important. If you do things right locally you can then influence state and federal governments. If we can do great things here other levels will follow.
"If we can change power to renewables then that's a great start. I'm in a group in Bawley Point working with Endeavour Energy to find a way to use Bawley Point-Kioloa as an example of how a community can go off-grid."
Dr Christen echoed the Labor candidates thoughts, telling voters they will seek consensus but won't back down from pushing hard for their key goals.
"We'll follow our 10-point plan as much as we can possibly do so but firstly we're just looking forward to having a very collaborative and consensus-based council," he explained.
"We're focused on road renewal. It was very clear every time voters talked to us, roads are the number one issue.
"Going forward we would like to look at the agenda on urban canopy, maintaining and increasing tree cover in the urban environments. That's really important especially with predicted hotter summers.
"Hand in hand with that we'd like to keep the council moving forward on renewable energy. It's really a no-brainer these days. Not only is it good for the environment but it also saves you money."
Energy concerns will be a hot issue in years to come with the NSW Government in 2020 setting a goal of 30,000 new homes in the greater Nowra region but Ms Butler stressed a need to stop and think before any soil is turned.
"With development as well, it's really important that we do that well," she said.
"People love the South Coast because of those beautiful green rolling hills all the way down to the ocean but once we lose that we can't get it back.
"It's not about not developing, it's about doing it well."
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.