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Australia news live updates: first debate confirmed; Labor to prioritise Indigenous Voice over republic referendum

Retailers expect a $7.1bn boost over the Easter long weekend as many Australians get away for the first time in two years.

Research by the Australian Retailers Association and pollster Roy Morgan estimate $1.5bn will be spent on food alone, including seafood, hot-cross buns and Easter eggs.

About one in 10 of the 2184 Australians surveyed said they would be spending more on food this year, while two-thirds said they would be spending the same.

Easter Saturday is one of the top 10 trading days of the year.

“For many, this is the first true holiday since the pandemic began,” association CEO Paul Zahra said, noting the long queues at domestic airports.

“Even Christmas last year was disrupted by the surge in Omicron cases and testing requirements to cross borders, which forced many people to cancel their plans at the last minute.”

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