THE election campaign, which ends on Saturday, has been characterised by a steady stream of ministers and opposition spokespeople to the Illawarra - mostly to Gilmore but also Throsby.
While candidates lap up the support of high-profile political colleagues, it is a small army of coalface supporters who do the real work.
Party volunteers have been busy manning the region's pre-polling booths.
The Lake Times visited pre-polling last Wednesday and spoke to the volunteers who were there at the time about handing out party leaflets and how-to-vote cards.
David Gray of Cordeaux Heights has been a Liberal Party volunteer since 1975.
"Gough [Whitlam] got me in. Such a hopeless PM - bad for business," he said.
"I've worked every election since then."
Mr Gray said that though some elements of campaigning had changed a great deal, the essence of attending the polling booths was still the same.
"It still basically gets down to person-to-person contact - that's critical for any campaign," the 65-year-old said.
"[This election] has been pretty good. People have been civil.
"I think we owe it to those who have gone before us to participate in democracy," Mr Gray said.
"It's democracy - if you don't participate, you get what you deserve."
Cat Masters of Albion Park said this year was the first time she had volunteered for any political party - in this case the Nationals.
The widow and mother of four said she had become "disillusioned with what's happening in the area".
"I have a young family and the current system isn't working for my family," the 42-year-old said.
"Angry [Anderson] will put up his hand to help, and listen."
Ms Masters said her maiden stint at spreading the word had been an enjoyable experience.
"There are some grumpy people out there but nothing a smile can't fix," she said.
Another fresh-faced volunteer was Jan Wolfe of Port Kembla, who only began doing so for Labor four weeks ago.
The 61-year-old had enjoyed meeting new people during her first election, even forming a kinship with other parties' helpers.
"You become a little group.
"We all work together; it's what we're here for.
"It doesn't matter who we're here for; someone has to win." Mrs Wolfe said she had also helped by distributing flyers for the Greens and other candidates.