An estimated 642,000 Australians who hunt and participate in shooting sports contribute more than $2.4 billion to Australia's economy and generate an estimated 19,500 full time jobs according to new research ,
The report; Economic and social impacts of recreational hunting and shooting has been released by the Commonwealth Department of Health.
The gross contribution to GDP, or the economic footprint, from recreational hunting and sport shooting activity in Australia in 2018 was estimated to be $2.4 billion, comprising $0.8 billion directly and $1.6 billion as a result of flow-on economic activity.
The report canvasses the hypothetical impact on the economy if hunting and shooting were prohibited. In that scenario, the researchers conclude that many would redirect their expenditure to other goods and services, and in many cases to similar outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, four-wheel driving and so on. However, even with a redistribution of expenditure the ‘net’ loss to the economy would be $335m, or 0.02 per cent of Australia’s GDP, and 3300 jobs would be lost.
The states where the highest amount of economic activity occurred (on and off trip) were New South Wales and Victoria. These states have relatively large populations of hunters and shooters and hunters and shooters from other states to travel there to hunt and shoot.
The research also addressed the social and health benefits of hunting and shooting sports, finding participants were more likely to be active than the general population. It also provided pathways to higher well-being for participants through connection with nature, self-efficacy, social networks, physical activity and nutrition. Participants in hunting and shooting sports had higher levels of well-being than the general population.
The data for this study was collected through an online survey, completed by 16,576 hunters and sport shooters across Australia.