Billionaire counter-sues over $70 Coolum golf rounds

BRISBANE'S Supreme Court will see a face-off between billionaire Clive Palmer and an 80-year-old retired dentist on Monday.

The legal stoush is over an amount that at first glance might seem trivial, but has mounted up to what some believe could become the Federal Member for Fairfax's "iceberg".

Dr Dean Andary, of Melbourne, used to own the land on which the Palmer Coolum Resort sits.

He sold it in the '80s to a developer, which spawned the creation of the once five-star resort and golf course.

Part of the sale agreement with his company Pinehurst Nominees Pty Ltd was the lease of a golf locker and playing rights for up to six people and buggy use at no charge until 2035.

If Dr Andary didn't use it, he could sell it to other golfers for $70 a round.

Mr Palmer bought the resort in 2011. On January 5, 2012, Coeur De Lion Investments Pty Ltd advised Dr Andary he could no longer use the course.

Mr Palmer is the director of Coeur De Lion Investments.

Instead of bowing out quietly, Pinehurst took legal action.

Coeur De Lion fired back, its lawyers saying it would "vigorously oppose any action by your clients and reserve our rights to counterclaim for all unpaid golf rounds that your clients may have fraudulently received over the past 25 years".

This has set the frame for the drawn-out legal battle which will finally play out in the Supreme Court on Monday.

Pinehurst claims it has suffered a loss of $2,116,033 in potential income from leasing rounds of golf.

Mr Palmer's company is understood to have countersued for more than $7 million for "breach of contract, unjust enrichment, interest on damages, and costs".

This amount was later reduced.

While the amounts being fought over are not insignificant, legal wrangling and court proceedings will draw a hefty bill.

The case has been set aside for the week.

Dr Andary was not available for comment.

Mr Palmer told the Daily yesterday, "I don't know what you are talking about. I'm driving. Bye," and put the phone down.



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