Queensland Iconic treasury building seen from William Street

News of the day

Telegraph, Wednesday 28 November 1928, page 5

Radium in Vault

£5,000 Worth in Brisbane

A supply of radium worth £5,000 and weighing one half gramme is securely reposing in the vault of the Treasury Building, Brisbane. There is a story attaching to this radium. The Commonwealth Government loaned it to the State Government through the Brisbane and South Coast Hospitals Board. It was received by the Government in July, and. since that time has been locked away in the Treasury vault.

A representative of "The Telegraph" was informed on Tuesday afternoon that the radium is in needles and plaques ready for use, but notwithstanding that local medical practitioners desire to use the radium for the treatment of cancer they are unable to obtain any of it.

It is stated that the action of the Cancer Campaign Committee paid the expenses of six persons from Brisbane to Sydney where they are undergoing treatment at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

It is stated that the action of the authorities in declining to make available the supply of radium is causing much concern to the local medical fraternity, who maintain that as the radium was loaned to the State Government it is but right that it should be brought into use to allay as much suffering as is possible.


The Treasury was erected in three stages between 1886 and 1928. In 1883, a design competition for a two-storeyed building was won by Melbourne architects Grainger and D'Ebro. However this design was never used as the Queensland Colonial Architect, John James Clark, argued that the site warranted a four-storeyed complex built in stages.. Clark's own neo-Italianate design, entered in the competition prior to his appointment, was used. Clarke is also known for his earlier work on the Old Treasury Building in Melbourne and other public works in Perth.

The first stage of the building to be completed was the William Street and part of the Queen St frontages and was built by the Phippard Brothers. When completed in September 1889, the new building was occupied by the Premier, Colonial Secretary, Registrar-General, Treasury, Mines, Works, Police and Auditor-General. The construction of stage two, which completed the Elizabeth Street section, was commenced almost immediately and was completed by February 1893. This new wing was occupied by the Registrar of Titles, Justice, Works, Public Instruction and the State Savings Bank. The final stage of construction was started in 1922 and the Queen and George street frontages were officially opened in 1928, providing additional space for the existing occupants. In 1961, a five-storey annexe was built in the courtyard.

Courtesy of the Queensland Heritage Register


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