Politicians seeking Permo-Drive help

LOCAL politicians have come to the support of Ballina-based company Permo-Drive which recently announced it would cease operations on July 7 unless the company can get a cash injection of $7.5 million.

State Member for Ballina Don Page and his three National Party colleagues in the region have written to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd calling on Federal Government intervention to save the company, while Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin said she would do all she could to help shareholders in the floundering local company.

The company is trying to commercially produce a braking system for heavy vehicles that stores braking energy so it can be used in acceleration saving on fuel use. It's called a Regenerative Drive System.

Permo-Drive chairman Colin Henson said the Federal Government's decision to scrap the Commercial Ready Grant Scheme was partly to blame for the company's cash-flow problem.

Mr Page said that decision denied Permo-Drive the opportunity to apply for up to $5 million in grants at a time when it was on the cusp of commercial success.

Ms Saffin hit back at the claim, saying it was 'convenient, but not helpful to blame the government'.

"The company has not approached me in the six months I've been in office, and I first heard of the company's crisis through the media," she said.


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