Regional communities could lead the way as Australia begins to recover from the financial effects of the coronavirus shutdown.
Large-scale projects like the duplication of the Barton Highway, Inland Rail and the Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics Hub have been pinpointed as mayor boosters for the Wagga region.
Andrew Cottrill, the Riverina-Murray regional manager of the NSW Business Chamber, believes it would make sense for regional restrictions to ease before metropolitan areas, where there are still some active infections.
"Most business owners I speak to are very keen to get back to work, but many such as pubs, clubs and restaurants are holding back due to the inability to operate with strict limits on the number of patrons they can serve. We believe the next stage where social distancing restrictions are eased will see these venues start to open up and get the economy moving,"
Mr Cottrill is expecting more casual workers to be re-engaged in the coming weeks, which he said would be a relief for people who had been unable to qualify for the Job Keeper program.
However, he said a warned that a Federal Court decision, which rules casual employees who work regular and predictable hours can claim annual and sick leave on top of their 25 per cent casual loading, "will weigh heavily on the minds of business owners looking to re-engage staff".
"Our region is very aware of the economic damage done and jobs lost within our region, and will accordingly endeavour to stay and spend locally or within our region. We are all in this together and can come out of it together with a strong regional focus," Mr Cottrill said.
Kim Houghton, chief economist Regional Australia Institute, believes the mix of industries in regional areas will help provide a boost in the recovery.
"I thought - and you can see this in some of the data that's coming out - because the industry mix, the employment mix, in regions is more weighted towards industries that are less affected by the restrictions: mining, ag and ag processing and even manufacturing. There are sectors of manufacturing that have not been affected as much as other ones," Dr Houghton said.
Recent widespread rain - and news that the Darling River was flowing into the Murray for the first time in two years - had also helped boost confidence.
Also poised to boost confidence were major projects like the duplication of the Barton Highway and development of Inland Rail.
Wagga mayor Greg Conkey describes an upgrade of the Barton Highway as crucial for not only Wagga, but much of southern NSW.
"We need a dual highway right into Canberra. It's going to become even more important as far as freight is concerned," he said.
Work is currently under way to duplicate the highway between the ACT border and Murrumbateman.