Clive Palmer at a press conference at Coolum.  Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
Clive Palmer at a press conference at Coolum. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily John McCutcheon

Former Palmer Resort manager suing Clive for defamation

FORMER Coolum Resort manager Bill Schoch wants to sue Clive Palmer for defamation and is seeking the supreme court's permission to do so.

Mr Schoch represented himself at Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday when he sought extra time, over the one-year period to file defamation claims, to file his case against Mr Palmer.

He claims Mr Palmer defamed him when he made comments that were published in the media about a court case the men were involved in.

Mr Schoch and Mr Palmer were previously locked in a legal dispute over an oral contract about wages.

At court on Wednesday, Mr Schoch said it was not reasonable in the circumstances for him to have brought on his defamation claim within the one-year period because he was concerned about how it would have affected his credibility.

He said what came out of Mr Palmer's alleged defamatory comments went "straight to the heart" of Mr Schoch's truthfulness, credibility and character.

Bill Schoch at a Palmer Coolum Resort function.
Bill Schoch at a Palmer Coolum Resort function. Warren Lynam

When arguing he should be granted more time, Mr Schoch also said he did not become aware of the defamatory "sting" in Mr Palmer's comments, and feel the hurt from them, until last year.

The date of publication for some of the alleged defamatory material went back to April 2014.

"The issue here is not defamatory imputations," Mr Schoch said. "The issue here is when I was aware of the defamatory nature of it."

Mr Palmer's lawyer Christopher Johnstone argued Mr Schoch was aware of the defamatory material because he had disclosed two of these publications in the earlier court proceedings involving the oral contract dispute.

"It's clear enough Mr Schoch must have had regard to them because he actually determined that for some reason or another they were relevant in that proceeding," Mr Johnstone said.

He also said Mr Palmer gave no notice of what he was intending to do.

The supreme court has reserved its decision. - ARM NEWSDESK



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