The Federal Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, says she is concerned for local people who are shareholders in the Ballina-based company, Permo-Drive.

The company has advised shareholders that it could go into voluntary liquidation next month due to a cash crisis.

Ms Saffin said she had been approached by a number of local people who invested in Permo-Drive because they had a dream of investing locally in a good energy-saving idea.

“I will do what I can to help to keep the dream alive, but it’s hard when I’m approached at this late stage,” Ms Saffin said.

“I’ve heard various reasons from shareholders as to why the company is in crisis, and it seems to be a bit of a puzzle.

“Some people have told me that a US company had promised to promote the company but failed to do so.”

Ms Saffin said she would be interested to talk to the UK venture capital company that was reportedly considering investing, to gauge their interest.

Permo-Drive has told shareholders that it is less attractive to investors because the Government has scrapped the Commercial Ready Grant Scheme.

Ms Saffin said it’s convenient, but not helpful, to blame the Government.

“The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, has introduced Climate Ready Grants which are available to commercial companies for energy-saving technology and innovation,” she said.

“Maybe Permo-Drive would have been able to apply for those.

“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.”

Ms Saffin said her office has contacted the chairman of Permo-Drive to see if he wanted to make a formal approach for talks or assistance.

“Local people know I will go in to bat for them but it’s difficult when I am approached at such a late stage,” she said.