Field and Game slams MP’s dismissal of hunting’s economic contribution

According to a Department of Jobs, Precincts and Region’s Economic report released last year, Wellington Shire received $3.1 million from duck hunting in 2019.

FIELD and Game Australia has slammed the the Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick for downplaying the contribution of duck hunters to the economy.
In a recent article appearing in The Age, Mr Meddick revealed he had commissioned Parliamentary Budget Office advice that estimates a ban on gamebird hunting would cost the state’s economy a little more than $10 million this year — “a fraction of shooting advocates’ claims of benefits from hunting worth up to $106 million a year”, the article reads.
The report further identified a ban would mean “the loss of about 35 full-time jobs in the city and 77 full-time jobs in country Victoria.”
Field and Game Australia slammed the Mr Meddick’s perception of $10 million and 112 full time jobs as inconsequential, with a spokesperson saying the $10 million out of the “politically-driven shortening” of duck season to 20 days would be mostly directed “into struggling regional communities”.
They added figures provided by an independent private sector consultant in 2019 indicated duck hunting was generating $65 million, again mostly into rural Victoria – the areas hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions.
“By the Animal Justice Party’s own numbers – this year alone the anti-hunting campaign has cost regional Victoria an estimated $55 million, and now they want to take away $10 million more,” they said.
“If this is not a clear indication to all regional Victorians that the Animal Justice Party, and Andy Meddick MP are completely out of touch with reality – what would be?
“This MP and his party has previously relied heavily on survey data that stated that banning hunting would lead to 15 per cent more tourists choosing to visit swamps and wetlands in struggling rural areas.
“If this is the case – where is the money?
“Instead of focusing on trying to take more money out of the pockets of rural communities – maybe Andy should be trying to work out how to put more money back in – and stop denying the science, stop cherry picking data for his own political agendas, and stop putting his own ideals in front of the well-being of Victorian communities.”
Recreational hunting was worth an estimated $356 million to the Victorian economy in 2019, with duck hunting specifically accounting for $64.7 million.
According to the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Region’s Economic Contribution of Recreational Hunting in Victoria report, released last year, recreational hunting contributed $8 million to Wellington Shire’s economy in 2019.
Duck hunting accounted for $3.1 million of this (a drop from $8.4 million in 2013), with $2.3 million spent in Sale specifically.
Wellington Shire contributed the third highest duck hunting expenditure to the state in 2019, behind greater Melbourne ($22.7 million) and greater Geelong ($4.3 million).
The report states between 2013 and 2019, there was a 31 per cent decrease in Victorian employment relating to duck hunting, dropping from 857 to 587 full-time equivalent jobs across the state, while jobs related to deer hunting grew 55 per cent (from 1140 to 1761).
Duck hunting accounted for 19 jobs in Wellington Shire (direct and flow-on) in 2019.
The report noted without hunting, some towns that were reliant on hunting expenditure could be affected.