Four North Coast Nationals State MPs have written to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd seeking his personal intervention to help save North Coast R&D company, Permo-Drive
Ballina-based Permo-Drive recently announced it would cease operating on 7 July, unless it got renewed investment.
The company blamed in part the Rudd Government’s abolition of the Commercial Ready R&D grant scheme in the May 2008 Federal Budget.
The MPs, Don Page (Ballina), Thomas George (Lismore), Steve Cansdell (Clarence) and Geoff Provest (Tweed), said the Budget 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.
“This occurred at the same time as the Federal Government is considering a $35 million subsidy to foreign multinational Toyota in support of its fuel saving hybrid vehicle,” the MPs told Mr Rudd.
“At a time of skyrocketing fuel prices, it just doesn’t make sense to allow an Australian company to sink that has technology which can reduce diesel consumption and emissions by 25 per cent.
“We therefore respectfully request your urgent attention to this issue with a view to helping this company through this difficult time.
“If Permo-Drive is allowed to commercialise its technology, it will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, cut greenhouse gas emissions and create Australian jobs, especially here on the North Coast where unemployment is still far too high.”
Permo-Drive evolved on the North Coast and has been strongly supported by numerous ‘mum and dad’ local investors, the MPs said.
“Given the former Federal Government’s support for Permo-Drive, we call on the local Federal MPs, Janelle Saffin and Justine Elliot, to actively lobby the Prime Minister to support this innovative Australian company,” they said.