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Question Time: Economic and social impacts of recreational hunting and shooting

Mehreen Faruqi 17 Oct 2019

FARUQI: My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Health, Senator Cash. Minister, I want to ask about the report Economic and social impacts of recreational hunting and shooting, released by the Department of Health in September 2019. How much of the health budget was spent on this report? Which minister commissioned it? Does the minister believe that this is an appropriate use of the public health budget?

CASH (Western Australia—Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business): Thank you very much, Senator Faruqi, for the question. I have to say, I do have a comprehensive brief from the minister, who is doing an outstanding job. In relation to that incredibly specific question, I will have to take it on notice and refer it to you.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Faruqi, a supplementary question?

FARUQI: Minister, many of the assertions of the report have been rightly ridiculed, such as somehow people who shoot animals have a higher level of wellbeing than people who don't shoot animals. Does the minister agree with that assertion, and is this borne out by any other evidence that you are aware of?

Senator McKenzie: They're not wrong.

Senator FARUQI: Perhaps Minister McKenzie would like to respond to that question?

Senator McKenzie: I'm happy to.

Senator CASH (Western Australia—Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business) (14:40): I have to say thank you to Senator McKenzie for some information in relation to the question. I do represent the Minister for Health. I have to say, for such a specific question, if you wanted an answer, you are entitled to provide notice or ask next week in estimates. Had you provided notice, I could have asked the minister and brought you a more comprehensive answer.

I'm now informed Australia's national sports plan, Sport 2030, outlines the need for a diverse sport industry with a wide range of activities to support more Australians to be more active. The report shows recreational hunting and sport shooting are regulated activities which engage individuals, clubs and communities across Australia. Recreational hunting and shooting can contribute physical, social, mental health and wellbeing benefits to participants. The activities have links and pathways to target shooting sports in Australia, which a number of members here participate in. Noting the government supports accessibility to— (Time expired)

The PRESIDENT: Senator Faruqi, a final supplementary question?

Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (14:41): Minister, isn't it true that this research isn't worth the paper that it's written on and that it's merely an attempt by the shooting lobby to promote itself by taxpayer expense, aided and abetted by Minister McKenzie?

Senator CASH (Western Australia—Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business) (14:41): I'll give you a very simple response: the answer to the question is no.

Speech to take note of the question

I rise to take note of the response from Minister Cash to my question on the report Economic and social impacts of recreational hunting and shooting. This report is just another example of vested interests getting their way in this parliament. We have a chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Shooting, Minister McKenzie, seemingly using the health budget to fund her pet project. How is this okay? This is absolutely disgraceful. I note that the senator is launching the Parliamentary Friends of Shooting with SIFA next week, and we all know about SIFA from the Four Corners expose.


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