Palmer villa owners ‘going to light up Coolum’
FED up villa owners have united to bring life back to the once top-rated Palmer Coolum Resort after a four-year feud with the billionaire former politician.
Clive Palmer's Palmer Coolum Resort was closed in 2015 and has been left to rot in what timeshare holders say has been a "dreadful time".
But in a breakthrough for investors, the body corporate has installed a separate power line, which will allow them to live in or sell the villas once the line is switched on this week.
"We're going to light up Coolum," villa owner Chris Shannon said.
The 200m, $120,000 line will power the last 30 villas near the resort's golf course.
But the 64 villas in the tennis complex section remain without electricity.
About 50 of the 82 villas near the golf club, which remains fully operational, already have access to power.
Mr Shannon said the owners made a "collective decision … to push on, regardless of the bullying tactics" they claim have been halting progress at the resort over the past four years.
"We've factored our way through this dreadful time up until now," he said.
"It's been like an obstacle course. Clive throws a hurdle in front of us, and we have to climb it."
Mr Shannon said investors in the tennis complex section were unable to install their own power line because of Mr Palmer's majority share in the body corporate.
"(Mr Palmer) keeps the owners at bay. He's got the power turned off, he's got the water turned off. It runs into disrepair," Mr Shannon said.
The once prime slice of Coast real estate is now a shadow of its former glory, with photos inside the resort showing overgrown gardens, pools filled with filthy water and unkempt buildings.
But in May, Mr Palmer claimed the resort was in "tip-top" condition.
Mr Shannon said despite the ongoing "struggle", where villa owners whose dwellings had no power, none had been pushed to sell.
"The persistence of the resort to interfere with the normal upkeep and general maintenance is consistent with all the problems we've had from the start," he said.
"It's amazing that the number of owners who want to stay with it, it's just incredible."
Once the new power line was installed, Mr Shannon said the villas would be back up and running in the coming months, with some being priced between $240,000-$260,000.
"Someone's going to pick up a bargain. They'll be very saleable villas, those that we can put together," he said.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission last year charged Mr Palmer in relation to a failed takeover of the resort's timeshare scheme.
The watchdog accused him of breaching corporate law, but the former federal MP tried to fight the charges in the Supreme Court in Brisbane. This week, Mr Palmer lost his bid to have the criminal charges thrown out of court.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment and fines of $11,000.