Leadbeater's Possum Pendant
In 1980, the Queensberry Mint based in Carlton approached the State Government with a proposal to help raise money for Leadbeater's possum conservation projects. The project was accepted by the Government and advertisements for the pendants started appearing in newspapers.
All the documents on this page come from a single Ministry of Conservation file 37/1/118 "FWD Leadbeaters Possum Fund" (FWD being an abbreviation for the Fisheries and Wildlife Division).
The project was very unpopular with conservation groups and there are letters complaining about the project from the Victorian Wildlife Conservation Group, the Conservation Council of Victoria and the Native Forests Action Group. A prominent conservationist and academic, Peter Rawlinson complained to the Bureau of Consumer Affairs, and this correspondence is also preserved in this file.
Because of the controversy, it appears that the Department conducted a check of the registration of the business but there is no evidence that the Government ever found anything irregular about the operation of the company.
When the promotion ended in 1982, 772 silver and 8 gold pendants had been sold and the Queensberry Mint paid $4,439.50 into the Leadbeaters Possum fund. The money from this project was intended to fund an artificial nestbox trial, but as this was estimated to require over $16,000 to run, the project did not proceed.