The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries has recently released a report titled Economic impact of recreational hunting in NSW. This report was the result of a study commissioned by the Game Licensing Unit (GLU) and was undertaken by RMCG, EconSearch and DBM Consultants.
The report focuses on the economic impact of expenditure by hunters if a) the expenditure was associated with recreational hunting (rather than hunting for primary production, or professional pest control); b) the hunting occurred in NSW; and c) the hunting occurred between March 2016 and February 2017. The study did not discriminate on the basis of residence of the hunters that responded because licences can be taken out by hunters from NSW, other states and territories and even other countries.
The report attempted to calculate hunting expenditure by estimating the on-trip and off-trip costs across the three common methods of hunting – firearms, bows and pig dogging – and where the hunting occurred – public or private land. It then extrapolated that expenditure from the survey sample to the population.
The results showed that 19,000 NSW game hunting licence holders generated $119 million of the gross state product (GSP) within the NSW economy. A staggering 860 full-time jobs were created as a direct result of game hunting licence holders. It was also determined that 207,000 non-game licence holders accounted for between $446 million and $1.3 billion of GSP and created between 3932 and 11,572 full-time jobs across the state.
The main expenditure items were determined to be hunting equipment (27 per cent of total game hunting licence holder expenditure), vehicles (20 per cent), food and drink (14 per cent), fuel (13 per cent) and ammunition (10 per cent).
The economic impact was a measure of the effect or ‘footprint’ of hunting activity in NSW on the economy. The estimates were generated by an extended input-output model known as the RISE (Regional Industry Structure & Employment) model, developed by EconSearch during the past decade.
The contribution to the NSW GSP by game hunting licence holders was calculated for both public and private land. Public land (state forest) firearm hunting contributed $29 million, bowhunting $3 million and pig dogging $3 million for a total of $34 million. Private land firearm hunting contributed $63 million, bowhunting $9 million and pig dogging $13 million for a total of $85 million. The totals across both public and private land equal $92 million for firearm hunting, $12 million for bowhunting and $15 million for pig dogging. This gives a grand total of $119 million.
The contribution to NSW employment by game hunting licence holders was also calculated for both public and private land. Public land firearm hunting created 208 jobs, bowhunting 20 and pig dogging 19 for a total of 247 full-time jobs. Private land firearm hunting created 457 jobs, bowhunting 65 and pig dogging 91 for a total of 613 full-time jobs. The totals across both public and private land equal 664 jobs created by firearm hunting, 86 by bowhunting and 110 by pig dogging. This equals the grand total of 860 full-time jobs created by hunting.
The economic contribution on non-game hunting licence holders was calculated under two scenarios: 1) a low-expenditure assumption of 10 per cent; and 2) a high-expenditure assumption of 62 per cent that aligned with the proportion assumed for game hunting licence holders. That resulted in the contribution to GSP of non-game hunting licence holders to be calculated as $329 to $892 million for firearm hunting, $59 to $161 million for bowhunting and $160 to $559 million for pig dogging. This equals a grand total of $548 to $1612 million. The amount of full-time jobs created ranged from 2355 to 6369 for firearm hunting, 426 to 1158 from bow hunting and 1151 to 4045 from pig dogging. That equals a total 3932 to 11,572 full-time jobs created.
So there you have it – more evidence to support the notion that hunting provides significant economic benefits to the community, both in dollar terms and jobs.