State Member for Ballina Don Page has spoken in Parliament, urging the Federal and State Labor governments to urgently act to salvage Permo-Drive.

“My North Coast Nationals colleagues and I wrote to the Prime Minister earlier this week seeking his assistance in saving Permo-Drive from sinking,” Mr Page said.

“I have also called on the NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, and the NSW Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Verity Firth, to urgently lobby their Federal colleagues to come to Permo-Drive’s aid.”

Mr Page said the Members Voluntary Winding Up meeting for Permo-Drive is due to be held on Monday July 7.

He said the decision to axe the Commercial Ready Grant scheme denied Permo-Drive the opportunity to apply for up to $5 million in grants at a time when it is on the verge of commercial success.

As an alternative, the Federal Government has suggested that Permo-Drive apply for a Climate Ready grant.

“However, applications are not available until August, which will be a month after the Members Voluntary Winding Up meeting and too late to save the company,” Mr Page said.

“Both State and Federal Governments need to act quickly and decisively. 

“The loss of this technology and this opportunity will be devastating to the North Coast, NSW and Australia.

“In these uncertain economic times, with skyrocketing fuel prices and the need to reduce green house gas emissions, it seems crazy to allow Permo-Drive and their Regenerative Drive System to go under.” 

Mr Page said Permo-Drive had completed the development of the RDS technology and was on the verge of commercialisation.

“The US Army has completed testing over 34,000km and there were no problems identified during testing,” he said.

“The Rudd Government has announced a $35million grant to a foreign multinational company, Toyota, to help develop a hybrid vehicle.

“Permo-Drive need a fraction of this amount to stop it from sinking and their technology is better. 

“Saving this company means jobs for the North Coast, reduction in fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions. 

“The future economic and environmental benefits outweigh the costs that may be incurred now.

“I urge the Federal Labor Government to act before it is too late.”