The Parliamentary Budget Office estimates that duck shooters contribute just $10 million net to all Victoria.
There is little to substantiate this, other than surveys of shooters asking them to guesstimate their spend. These guesstimates were not validated and no evidence was required.
Further, there has never been a cost benefit analysis performed to account for the costs to Victorians of duck shooting. These costs include:
Loss of public amenity
Adverse impacts to mental health (on non-shooters and residents)
Environmental costs (toxic lead, plastics, impact to threatened and migratory species)
Inability for locals to work from home or for shift workers to sleep
Trespass damage & biosecurity risk
Disturbance to stock
Government grants and subsidies to hunting clubs
It is highly likely given these costs, that duck shooting is in fact a negative impact on Victoria, particularly our regions.
Independent think tanks and economists including The Australia Institute, and Dr Kristy Jones PHD Monash University (2016), have refuted claimed benefit from shooting, calling it "wildly overstated". This resonates with what we see as residents of rural lake and wetland communities;
"There is little to no positive economic impact on our towns as a result of hunting. In fact, hunting season is to our towns economic detriment."
"The non-monetary benefits of ending duck hunting and the improvement in welfare of the non-duck hunting public, are far greater than the non-monetary losses that hunters would incur from a ban. We estimate this benefit of banning duck hunting at around $60 million per year." (Rod Campbell 2012)
Nature based tourism. It works.
Tourism contributes more to the Australian economy than agriculture, forestry and fishing (Tourism Satellite Account). It employs more than 1 in 20 Australians, supports 1 in 8 businesses and annual growth in direct tourism GDP (in real value terms i.e. net of inflation) has outperformed the national growth rate for the fourth consecutive year.
Nature based tourism has grown faster than all other forms of tourism combined. Tens of millions of people already spend billions of dollars to appreciate Australia's "awesome" native wildlife.
"Birding" is cited as one of the fastest growing past times in the world. Typically "birders" are affluent, well educated tourists who "stay longer and spend more", in places they visit. Our rural cafes, shops, wineries and B&B's to name a few, could significantly benefit from this.
Victoria is lucky to still have beautiful lakes and wetlands, many home to unique and endangered species of birds and some considered to be of international significance.