HIT THE WALL: Colin Henson says Permo-Drive will fold without an urgent injection of capital.
HIT THE WALL: Colin Henson says Permo-Drive will fold without an urgent injection of capital. Northern Star

Permo-drive to put case for Federal govt grant

PERMO-DRIVE'S chief engineer will tomorrow meet with representatives from AusIndustry in Brisbane to discuss getting a $5 million Federal Government Climate Ready Grant.

The Ballina-based company has developed a fuel conservation system for heavy vehicles, but early this month its directors moved to voluntarily wind up the company because it lacked the $7.5 million needed for the last stage of production.

However, the chairman Colin Henson said Permo-Drive still needed more funds to keep it afloat long enough to apply for the grant.

“The concern is we still need enough money to pay our bills and our staff during that time,” he said.

Permo-Drive Shareholders' Association chair John Hannaford on Monday handed a $25,000 cheque to the company's directors, which allowed the company to stay afloat for another two weeks so it could continue to seek an investor.

But shareholder Neil Hargreaves said the 'drip feed' of donations was not enough.

“Permo-Drive needs more than one positive action for it to overcome the problems facing it financially,” Mr Hargreaves said.

He proposed a continuation of Mr Hannaford's Save Our Technology group and continued pressure on politicians for support.

He also called for a share purchase plan and a sales program, where prospective customers would be asked to pay half the cost of a unit up-front.

However, Mr Henson said that was not viable, as buyers were 'not willing to put up any risk money'.

Permo-Drive's next shareholders' meeting will be on August 7.



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