Palmer resort timeshare owners battle charges
CLIVE Palmer might have met his match in the legal stoush with villa owners at his Coolum resort.
The controversial mining billionaire and newly elected federal MP has been embroiled in a legal fight with the more than 300 timeshare villa owners at the Palmer Coolum Resort since May last year.
The owners, represented by a group called the President's Club, are equipped to tackle Mr Palmer.
One owner, who asked to remain anonymous, said villa owners included "at least 15 lawyers, including four Queen's Counsels and two judges".
"They have a large pool of resources," he said.
"There are accountants, successful business people and professionals in there.
"Another owner said he was prepared to expend the total cost of the villa to ensure against the bully tactics of Clive Palmer."
The fight is over management and access to the villas, which owners paid as much as $80,000 for before Mr Palmer bought the resort. They say they have also been paying a monthly levy of around $130.
Some have been holidaying at the resort for more than 20 years.
But the villa owners say they can now only access the villas if they pay the resort's normal rate.
"We have to pay $330 a night for a room," one owner said.
Two villa owners, Peter Icklow and Madeleine Gilmour, appeared on ABC's 7.30pm Report on Tuesday, accusing Mr Palmer of bullying his staff.
It was also suggested staffing numbers at the resort had fallen from "about 600 to between 150 and 200".
The Fair Work Ombudsman was investigating incidents associated with the Palmer Resort.
Palmer Resort general manager Bill Schoch said the bullying allegations had "absolutely nothing to do with the legal battle".
He said he was aware of only one complaint that had been sent to the Fair Work Ombudsman.
The legal stoush, he said, concerned an "unlawful managed investment scheme", but declined to comment further as it was before the courts.
He was "100% confident" the President's Club members would move down a similar route to the Ambassador's Club, which had adopted a body corporate.