ESTABLISHMENT AND FUNCTION:
The "Leprosy Act of 1892" provided not only for the treatment of lepers but also for their detention and isolation. Moreover, the Act enabled the Governor-in-Council, by proclamation, to appoint any place to be a lazaret for the reception and medical treatment of lepers.
From at least 1896 Peel Island in Moreton Bay was used to accommodate leprosy patients under the care of the Stradbroke Island Lazaret. On 31 May 1907, a parcel of approximately 160 acres of Peel Island was proclaimed a lazaret, and, during 1907, patients from Stradbroke Island Lazaret and Friday Island Lazaret were transferred to the new Peel Island facility.
The Stradbroke Island and Friday Island lazarets treated "white" and "coloured" patients respectively, but Peel Island Lazaret was designed to accommodate all patients, although they were segregated by sex, and into "whites" and "coloureds".
In 1939, under the "Health Act of 1937", Fantome Island in the Palm Island Group, North Queensland, was proclaimed a lazaret for the treatment of aboriginal lepers, and 49 aborigines were transferred to Fantome Island from Peel Island in Jan 1940. 32 patients remained at Peel Island.
With the introduction of new drugs, the number of patients gradually decreased, particularly in the 1950s, and on 5 Aug 1959, patients with Hansen's Disease, as leprosy was now called, were removed from Peel Island Lazaret to the Chronic Diseases Section of Princess Alexandra Hospital, South Brisbane.
Home Secretary, 31 May 1907 - 5 Dec 1935
Secretary for Health and Home Affairs, 5 Dec 1935 - 12 Aug 1957
Minister for Health and Home Affairs, 12 Aug 1957 - 5 Aug 1959
SUBSEQUENT AGENCY: Princess Alexandra Hospital, Chronic Diseases Section