NSW businesses just across the border from the ACT are gearing up for an exit from lockdown.
With what they think is greater certainty about the future path, they are planning more firmly.
"We are actually coming back full time next week," Neil Thompson, managing director of Skyview Windows in Queanbeyan, said. His staff have been on a two-day week.
The company makes aluminium doors and windows, 80 per cent of which go to Canberra. He's bullish about the future. "Every time there's been a calamity, there's been a building boom," he said.
The timetable for emergence from restrictions is slightly different on either side of the border. In NSW, 70 per cent full vaccination of eligible people will trigger an easing, with a further easing triggered at 80 percent.
Canberra is more vague. The ACT government said lockdown would end on October 15 "when we expect our community will have reached 80 per cent full vaccination".
But further progress is tentative. "Before we take any further steps beyond October 29, we will need to closely consider the epidemiological situation, cases in our surrounding region and our public health and hospital system capacity."
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While some Canberra businesses condemned the uncertainty, NSW embraced the state's comparative clarity.
In Queanbeyan, mayor Tim Overall said the ACT government and NSW were going in the same direction "however, unfortunately there will continue to be areas of confusion until there is a joint highway".
Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council was moving forward, he said. Planning had started for community Christmas celebrations for Queanbeyan, Bungendore and Braidwood, and the Australia Day celebrations, he said.
There was also confidence on the coast. Batemans Bay hotelier Alison Miers said she was just about booked out for Christmas.
"It feels like there's a bit of energy. People are busting to get out," the proprietor of Bay Breeze Boutique Accommodation said. "They just want it to happen and open up. It's cost us a bomb. We haven't had income since July."
In Goulburn, Chamber of Commerce president Darrell Weekes also welcomed NSW's more certain route. "We've now got something concrete," he said.
He reckoned thousands of people from Goulburn worked in Canberra. "Business owners can now say, 'We can prepare for Christmas'," he said.
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