Helicopter 1080 spreading operation completed

A controversial aerial drop of 1080 poison on land above Luggate was completed yesterday and Operational Solutions for Primary Industries (Ospri) said it should be its last.

An Ospri spokesman said in future all possum control across 126,704ha of the Pisa Range would be by ground crews, unless there was a serious Tb outbreak.

It is expected Tb will be eradicated from livestock and possums before 2026, he said.

Yesterday's aerial drop on about 1400ha of an area including the Alice Burn, or Fallburn Scenic Reserve, targeting possums that can carry Tb between animal herds, took a helicopter an hour.

Some Luggate residents and anti-1080 campaigners have been concerned at the health risk of 1080 entering waterways that flow into the township.

Ospri maintains there is no risk to public drinking water.

Resident Tracey Morrow said she only heard about the drop from an unofficial source, but that had allowed one concerned pregnant woman time to leave Luggate before the drop.

She considered if ground crews could keep possums under control in future, then yesterday's poisoning operation could also have been done from the ground, to avoid poisoned bait being broadcast by helicopter.

''It's been two and a bit years of worrying about it.

''If nothing else, at least I know the job's done and we don't have to go on day-by-day wondering when it's going to happen.''


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