The Greens candidate for Gilmore, Terry Barratt, said any decision on preferences at the next federal election would be made by "applying Greens policy to the local scene" in consultation with the electorate's Greens members.
A Shoalhaven resident of 33 years, Mr Barratt will contest the Gilmore seat with the Liberal Party's Ann Sudmalis and Labor's Neil Reilly.
The Gilmore electorate, which covers an area from Warilla in the north to Ulladulla in south, is currently held by Liberal Joanna Gash who won the seat for a record sixth time in 2010 with a margin of 5.3 per cent.
However, a redistribution of the electorate's boundaries before the 2010 election had made Gilmore a notionally Labor seat and preferences could still play an important role this time around.
Mrs Gash, who is now ensconced in the Shoalhaven's mayoral robes and will be until at least 2016, will stand aside as soon as the federal election is called.
Mr Barratt, a former senior manager with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and environmental scientist with Sydney Water, said as far as the Greens were concerned both major parties "leave a lot to be desired".
He said while the Labor Party had views that were more closely aligned to the Greens, a decision on preferences would depend on individual issues and how the candidates performed as the campaign rolled on.
Mr Barratt begins 2013 on a high after the NSW Planning Assessment Commission killed off controversial 25-year-old plans for a North Nowra to Bomaderry link road through the centre of the Bomaderry Creek Regional Park.
Mr Barratt had campaigned strongly against Shoalhaven City Council's preferred Pitt Street to Narang Road route, which would have impacted on the threatened Bomaderry Zieria (a small, extremely rare, flowering shrub).
"I was elated, but the beauty of the decision allows us to get on with some positive stuff not just for the park, but also potentially speed up the process of getting an new bridge across the Shoalhaven River," he said.
Mr Barratt admits he will need time to get up to speed with issues further north in the electorate, in the Shellharbour area in particular, but said many issues that were important to him such as rising sea levels and climate change were important for all coastal areas.