The first funding from the NSW government's pre-election promise of $962 million for Princes Highway upgrades has been allocated in the 2019-2020 budget.
The $7.1 million budget allocation is set aside for scoping and detailed planning for the upgrade between the Jervis Bay turnoff and Sussex Inlet Road, and the Milton Ulladulla and Moruya bypasses.
Key supporter of the FIX IT NOW campaign, South Coast MP Shelley Hancock reaffirmed her government's commitment to the highway upgrades.
"The commitment for the almost billion dollars for the Princes Highway for between Jervis Bay Road and Moruya is certainly an election commitment which we will uphold," Ms Hancock said.
"The $7.1 million in the budget is for planning and continuation of planning. This is how budgets are devised, that you do planning money first."
Mrs Hancock said funding in the first year of a major project was almost always for detailed planning, while the second year saw further money allocated for final planning and the calling of tenders. After tenders were finalised, the large amounts for construction would flow.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward said it took almost two years from the initial commitment to upgrade the highway at Gerringong until work began.
"And that was a relatively small section of only seven kilometres," he said.
"We're not building these roads for the next five years.
"We're building them for the next 100 years."
Mrs Hancock said she was confident work would begin on the Jervis Bay Road intersection by the end of the year and that the upgrade from there to the Sussex Inlet Road intersection would begin in the current term of government.
She said federal funding promised before the election would also see detailed planning work well advanced on the Milton-Ulladulla bypass.
"With the federal government assistance we should be able to crack on before this term ends," she said.
She said the NSW government looked forward to continuing discussions with the federal government to advance the 80-20 funding split flagged by Deputy Prime Minister McCormack during a visit to Nowra just before the federal election.
"Indeed, he did flag that 80-20 funding split, not just for the Milton Ulladulla bypass, but for the entire Princes Highway."