$700,000 and six full-time jobs: hunting’s economic benefit measured

TOURISM: Bullets and Bits owner Ray Hawkins said all of Orange's businesses benefited from hunters travelling to the city. Photo: DECLAN RURENGA 0715drhawkins1
TOURISM: Bullets and Bits owner Ray Hawkins said all of Orange's businesses benefited from hunters travelling to the city. Photo: DECLAN RURENGA 0715drhawkins1

The economic contribution of hunting to Orange’s economy has been valued at $700,000 in a report commissioned by the state’s Game and Pest Management Trust.

The report surveyed 2422 people who used a NSW Game Licence.

The economic benefit for NSW is valued at $119 million, with 860 jobs supported by the industry. 

In Orange, hunters using firearms, dogs or bows on private and public land directly support six full-time employees.

Bullets and Bits owner Ray Hawkins said the report’s conclusions were reassuring.

“It’s not just a figure they’ve plucked out, it’s backed by my own experience in the business,” Mr Hawkins said.

He said Orange attracted hunters heading to the state forest and those assisting farmers with pest management by eliminating rabbits, pigs, goats and kangaroos.

Mr Hawkins said hunters travelled from Sydney, Young, Mudgee, the Central Coast and beyond.

“The entire town benefits: hotels, servos, supermarkets, cafes, gun shops and sporting goods stores,” he said.

Orange isn’t the only beneficiary of hunting, Bathurst receives an estimated $1.2 million and supported 11 full-time jobs, while hunters supported 10 full-time jobs in Lithgow and for a benefit of $1.3 million.