Palmer offered friend $5m over five years, court hears

Bill Schoch with Clive Palmer during his PUP days in 2013.
Bill Schoch with Clive Palmer during his PUP days in 2013. john mccutcheon

FORMER Coolum Resort manager Bill Schoch who is suing his former boss and friend Clive Palmer over a work contract bungle told a Brisbane court Mr Palmer had initially offered to pay him $5 million over five years.

Mr Schoch is suing Mr Palmer for $4.6 million for allegedly misleading him into signing a "sham" working contract.

At a Brisbane Supreme Court civil case that started on Monday, Mr Schoch told the court Mr Palmer offered him a position of chief financial officer for China First, a subsidiary of Mineralogy.

He said Mr Palmer phoned him in 2011 and offered him $5 million over five years, or $1 million a year.

Mr Palmer said the starting salary would be $100,000 and that the rest of the money would come in later, Mr Schoch said.

But when he was given his new work contract documents there was nothing noting the $5 million figure, Mr Schoch said.

He also said there was an area of the form the manager still had to complete.

Mr Schoch said he noted on the document, and initialled it, that his salary was to be $100,000 base plus bonus as agreed.

"I put that there deliberately … so I could keep it confidentially but also have a record," he said.

Mr Schoch said he took the documents to HR and pointed out what he had done.

"But they laughed at it," he said.

"I didn't care whether they laughed or not because it was a deal I had with Clive who I had known for 40 years and that was it."

"Clive hired me and it had down at the bottom of the form 'manager to complete' and my manager is Clive…"

Mr Schoch also said he'd signed a confidentiality agreement.

The trial continues.


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This poll ended on 08 September 2015.

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Clive Palmer- Palmer United Party


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EARLIER: Clive Palmer facing lawsuit from former friend Bill Schoch

A FORMER close friend of controversial Sunshine Coast MP Clive Palmer will begin legal action today, claiming almost $5 million in damages resulting from a 'sham contract'.

Bill Schoch is suing former boss Clive Palmer for $4,682,812 and seeking to have his "sham" contract set aside.

The trial, which is expected to take two weeks, will begin in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday.

Court documents show Mr Palmer and two companies - Mineralogy Pty Ltd and Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd - are listed as defendants in the case.

But it is unclear whether Mr Palmer will give evidence.

Mr Schoch and his wife are expected to give evidence for the plaintiff's case.

Mr Schoch, who ran Palmer Coolum Resort until his contract was terminated, argued the contract was void because of Mr Palmer's allegedly "misleading and deceptive conduct".

In documents lodged in the Brisbane Supreme Court, Mr Schoch said his employment contract was reduced from $1million a year - contingent on completing particular tasks - to $150,000 a year fixed.

He said a five-year fixed term disappeared, giving him "no security of employment at all".

Mr Palmer shut the resort down, costing hundreds of workers jobs. 

He claimed it was being being closed for an upgrade but locals say there has been little evidence of that.

Topics:  bill schoch clive palmer palmer coolum resort

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