Hunting contributes $2.4 billion to national economy

Doug Gimsey

Hunting contributes $2.4 billion to national economy

... according to a report commissioned by the Department of Health.

Posted on 24.09.2019

Australia’s hunters and shooters contributed $2.4 billion to the economy last year, according to a report commissioned by the Department of Health.

Compiled by RG Consulting Group, the report said the benefits included $800 million in direct spending and $1.6 billion in flow-on economic activity.

It said if hunting was prohibited, some expenditure would be redirected to similar activities “such as camping, fishing, four-wheel driving”, but that recreational hunting made a net contribution of $335 million and added 3,300 jobs last year.

Opponents of hunting have questioned the data, collected through an online survey of more than 16,000 hunters which formed the basis of the report, along with information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Victorian Game Management Authority.

The report said there were more than 640,000 recreational hunters and shooters using firearms, knives, or bows to hunt game and pests and to shoot targets.

Key points

  • A new report finds the economic benefits of hunting include $1.6 billion in flow-on activity
  • It also found that hunters had higher levels of wellbeing when compared to the general population
  • Opponents of hunting have laughed off the findings, describing them as “rubbish”

It also said hunters engaged in more physical activity and had “higher levels of wellbeing” when compared to the general population.

More than 95 per cent of the survey respondents were male and there was an “even balance between living in regional and metropolitan areas”, with most hunters aged 30 to 74.

Barry Howlett from the Australian Deer Association said the report showed hunting was serious contributor to the national economy.

“That $335 million [net economic spend], that’s about half the current budget deficit is for Australia,” he said.

“It’s more than our export pork industry, it’s more than our live sheep export industry.

“It’s a significant amount of money.”

He said he was not surprised by the findings that hunters had “higher physical activity” and “higher levels of wellbeing” when compared to the general population.

“There’s big mental health benefits to hunting … we put that down to the community aspect,” Mr Howlett said.

“It’s like a camo-clad, more active version of the Men’s Shed.”


The report said more than 85 per cent of hunters found spending time outdoors was the most important aspect of hunting and shooting.

Kath Sullivan

ABC News





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