Bramwell Station was sold to the Queensland government for $11.5 million at a public auction last week, but the deal appears to be in jeopardy.
Cape York Weekly can reveal the state government was one of four registered bidders at the online auction and was the only one to make a bid.
Its offer of $11.5 million was accepted and sold under the hammer.
However, the Department of Environment and Science was backing away from the sale when questioned about it.
A spokesperson told Cape York Weekly that the sale was not a done deal.
“The government continues to progress discussions and contractual arrangements with the vendor about Bramwell Station,” the DES spokesperson said.
“We will have more to announce once that is finalised.”
Bramwell Station was sold to beef producers Wendy Kozicka and Vince Bowyer in 2002 for less than $1 million.
Back then, the station only featured the homestead and machinery sheds.
The tourist park and roadhouse were built by Ms Kozicka and Mr Bowyer. The Queensland government attempted to purchase Bramwell Station back in 2002 but was a losing bidder.
Cape York Weekly can reveal that the state has since made at least one offer to purchase Bramwell, with the latest coming at the beginning of this year.
Ms Kozicka said she was reluctant to comment on the auction or the sale as negotiations were still continuing.
“As far as we are concerned it is still business as usual at Bramwell,” she said.
“If the sale doesn’t go through it will still be business as usual for us – we won’t be disappointed because we love the place.”
The state government has a history of buying property in Cape York, mostly for environmental reasons.
Bramwell Station features some pristine wilderness on the eastern side of the property.
It’s likely that the state would remove cattle from the property and foster it as a nature reserve.
However, sources indicated the tourist park and roadhouse would be kept operating under a lease arrangement.
Ken and Gail Godfrey are the current leaseholders and Bramwell has become a tourist mecca under their tenure.
This article appeared in Cape York Weekly, 17 August 2021.