Inside deserted villas at centre of $20.8m court settlement
New photos reveal the state of the Clive Palmer's Coolum resort following the billionaire businessman's $20.8 million payout to settle a long-running court dispute with villa owners.
In its glory days the former five-star Hyatt Regency Coolum was the home of the Australian PGA Championship, but years of closure have taken a toll.
The resort even hosted a Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting opened by the Queen before it was purchased by Clive Palmer in 2011.
The Daily had an inside look on Wednesday at the Palmer Coolum Resort villas, as a guest of one of the owners.
The resort was closed in 2015, putting 600 staff out of work and shareholders of 144 villas in limbo.
Today the resort is near deserted, however the golf course remains open.
Villa owner Chris Shannon said he believed it was possible to bring the resort back up to scratch.
He said the villas in the golf body corporate - including his - were in better condition than those in the tennis body corporate.
Mr Palmer owns a majority share in the tennis body corporate.
"I was there (on Monday) and the tennis body corporate, which has 64 units, that's deteriorated," he said.
"The 80 units in the golf body corporate could be restored quickly for not a lot of money.
"It could be brought back.
"We were hoping that would be the case, that one day it would be restored and we could have them occupied."
Mr Palmer has been locked in a complex legal fight involving resort villa owners since 2012.
The former federal MP has agreed to pay 310 unit owners $65,000 each for their quarter shares.
On Monday the Federal Court in Brisbane approved settlement to end the long-running class action, which is likely to give Mr Palmer total control of the former five-star resort.
The settlement also brings to an end up to eight other related cases in both the Federal Court and the Queensland Supreme Court.
It also means two related cases in the Supreme Court will end.
A spokesman for Mr Palmer declined to comment on what the former federal MP had planned for the resort after the settlement.