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Tuesday, 21 August 1984
Page: 68

(Question No. 797)


Senator Missen asked the Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment, upon notice, on 3 April 1984:

(1) How many licensed kangaroo shooters were operating in Australia during the most recent period on record.

(2) How many of these licensed kangaroo shooters were full time or part time operators.

(3) What average prices were paid on the market for each animal.

(4) Does the Government agree with the estimate of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council in their submission to the Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare which estimated that the average shooter, working 250 days per year, was taking between 5,000-7,500 animals and earning from $10,000-$15,000 per year.


Senator Ryan —The Minister for Home Affairs and Environment has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

Responsibility for kangaroo management rests primarily with State and Territory wildlife authorities and the following answers have been provided by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales, National Parks and Wildlife Service of Queensland, Western Australian Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, National Parks and Wildlife Service of South Australia and National Parks and Wildlife Service of Tasmania.

(1) New South Wales-The number of trappers (kangaroos) currently licensed is 375. Over 100 of the licensed trappers were operating during the period September to November 1983.

Queensland-The number of licensed kangaroo shooters in 1983 was 1,431 and the number of licensed kangaroo shooters authorised during the period from 1 January to 31 March 1984 was 751.

Western Australia-The number of shooters currently licensed is 136, made up of 90 within the red kangaroo management program and 46 within the grey kangaroo program.

South Australia-The number of persons licensed to shoot kangaroos in 1983-84 is 188.

Tasmania-During the 1983 season there were 384 shooters licensed for the commercial hunting of wallabies.

(2) New South Wales-On the basis that a shooter taking less than 2,500 kangaroos per year is part time and more than 2,500 kangaroos per year is full time, during 1983 when 349 shooters were licensed, 290 shooters were part time ( 73 of whom shot no kangaroos during the year) and 59 shooters were full time.

Queensland-Approximately 10 per cent of shooters are full time operators.

Western Australia-All shooters within the grey kangaroo program are part time operators. Most of the shooters in the red kangaroo program have supplementary incomes, usually station work.

South Australia-The number of shooters that could be considered full time in 1984 is approximately 30.

Tasmania-All shooters are considered to be part time operators, most being either landowners or their employees who hunt, on average, only four days each month.

(3) New South Wales-Current prices for kangaroo carcasses, including skins, range from $0.26 to $0.28 per kilogram. The average weight for carcasses is currently 22 kilogram, while the medium value is 20 kilograms. On this basis the average price per carcass is $5.94.

Queensland-The average price for skins is $5.00, depending on size, while carcass prices vary from $0.20 to $0.32 per kilogram.

Western Australia-The price paid to the shooter varies within the range of $0. 25 to $0.30 per kilogram. The average carcass weight is in the region of 19 kilograms.

South Australia-A shooter receives approximately $0.22 per kilogram for trade butts, or about $3.00 per animal of butt weight 14 kilograms.

Tasmania-The commercial value of Tasmanian wallabies lies primarily in their fur. Fur prices are currently very low, with hunters receiving less than $1.00 for a wallaby skin.

(4) New South Wales-New South Wales does not agree. In 1983, 21 per cent of licensed shooters shot no kangaroos, 53 per cent shot less than 500, 83 per cent shot less than 2,500 and 96 per cent shot less than 5,000. The average shooter therefore shot less than 500 kangaroos. Obviously the number of days worked and earnings on the average are proportionately less than the figures quoted in the question.

Queensland-No.

Western Australia-No. Western Australian shooters, on average, took less than 2 ,000 kangaroos in 1983, within the range of approximately 200 to 6,700. Only four shooters shot more than 5,000 animals.

South Australia-The South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service has no data on the earnings of a full time shooter. The number of animals a shooter takes is subject to the availability of destruction permits and quotas. A figure of between 20 and 30 animals per night is considered to be the economic breakeven point to cover costs, including equipment and fuel.

Tasmania-Based on hunters' returns, it is estimated that the average commercial hunter currently shoots less than 300 wallabies per year. The majority of these wallabies are utilized privately and do not enter the commercial trade.