Palmer resort manager says he saved $8m by sacking 400 staff

THE former manager of Palmer Coolum Resort says he saved his boss more than $8 million a year by sacking 403 staff, acquiring Hyatt management rights and other cuts.

Failed Palmer United Party Fisher candidate Bill Schoch - who is suing Clive Palmer and two of his companies for $4,682,812 over an allegedly "sham" contract - said his negotiations with the Chicago-based Hyatt organisation saved $1.3 million a year in management fees which amounted to $36.6 million to the end of the 28-year contract in 2040.

He also claimed he delivered significant earnings through establishing the Palmer Motorama and Palmersaurous attractions which Mr Palmer estimated, according to court documents, would produce an ongoing future income stream in excess of $3 million.

Mr Schoch said he collected $3 million cash from another task and had $44.9 million returned to the Palmer Group after dealing with a mistaken tax overpayment.

He claimed - in documents lodged in the Brisbane Supreme Court - that his efforts resulted in "money in" to the Palmer Group amounting to $95.6 million including actual money received, money savings and a negotiation that was put "on hold".

Mr Schoch, who ran the resort until his contract was terminated on December 1 last year, is arguing the contact he signed was void because of Mr Palmer's allegedly "misleading and deceptive conduct".

Mr Palmer, Federal Member for Fairfax, plans to fight the claims, which he said had no substance.

It was the consequence of having a billion dollars and holding the balance of power in the Senate, he told media.

"People like to have a shot at you. I get that all the time," he said.

Mr Schoch said his employment contract was reduced from $1 million a year - contingent on completing particular tasks such as those listed above - to $150,000 a year fixed.

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

The court documents claim the "misleading" contract Mr Schoch signed on March 10, 2012, did not accord with other written and verbal agreements with Mr Palmer.

Mr Schoch said Mr Palmer told him it was an administrative change only and would not affect the terms of his original contract.

Mr Palmer allegedly presented the contract on at his "Gold Coast compound" on Saturday without prior notice and Mr Schoch said he had no access to legal or other advice.

Mr Schoch said Mr Palmer was dictating a multitude of tasks "at a frenetic pace to the summoned executives", with the group instructed to listen and take notes of the instructions for the Palmer Group tasks.

"(Mr Palmer) was intent on delivering his vision in detail and discouraged two-way conversation," the document said.

"(Mr Palmer) made no comment whatsoever to (Mr Schoch) about any proposed new changes to his employment contract."


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