Clive Palmer and Bill Schoch in 2013.
Clive Palmer and Bill Schoch in 2013. john mccutcheon

Man quizzed over 'code' in Clive Palmer work contract trial

A FORMER Coolum Resort manager was questioned why he used a "code" to try and formalise a $5 million deal on his work contract documents.

Former resort manager Bill Schoch was cross-examined for almost an entire day during a civil trial where he is suing his former boss and friend Clive Palmer over an alleged "sham" work contract.

Clive Palmer may give evidence on Wednesday.

Mr Schoch claims Mr Palmer verbally offered him $5 million over five years but instead he was allegedly paid a $100,000 base salary with a further $50,000 offered months later.

Under cross-examination at Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday Mr Schoch said he noted the verbal deal on his work contract as $100,000 plus bonus as agreed to keep the $5 million figure confidential.

Mr Palmer's barrister Simon Couper, who is also representing the company Mineralogy, quizzed Mr Schoch over why he wanted to keep the deal a secret from payroll staff.

"What I'm saying is that Clive chose to offer me a deal, which I accepted orally, I expected him to in time put that in writing to me," Mr Schoch replied.

Mr Schoch was also questioned why he did not ask Mr Palmer directly for the millions he was offered when the company sold shares and made millions of dollars of profits.

The company made millions about 18 months after Mr Palmer allegedly made the $5 million offer and Mr Schoch had not seen this amount of money; only his $100,000 base salary.

"I'm a patient guy, I knew I was going to get the $5 million in the five years ... I found (Mr Palmer) always, with me at least, has been a man of his word. Sometimes he takes his time and I let him choose the time," Mr Schoch said.

Mr Schoch's wife Jennifer also gave evidence briefly at the trial and said that Mr Palmer had allegedly told her that he wanted to do something for her and Mr Schoch's son instead of giving his friend a bonus.

She said Mr Palmer gave her and Mr Schoch's son Will a Duke of Edinburgh's Award fellowship.

"Is it right that he said to you words to this effect: 'I'd like to do something for Will to be a lasting legacy instead of giving Bill the money'," Mr Couper asked her under cross examination.

"He said something like 'instead of giving Bill the bonus, I would like to do a lasting legacy for Will'," Mrs Schoch said.

The trial continues.


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