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Thursday, 11 May 1972
Page: 2521

Mr Grassby asked the Minister for Ship ping and Transport, upon notice:

(1)   Did his Department investigate the invention and production of a steam engine by Pritchard Steam Power Pty Ltd of Caulfield, Victoria, suitable for adaptation to motor vehicles and claimed to cut pollution through emission to as much as one-fortieth of the internal combustion engine.

(2)   Can he say whether the rights to this engine have been bought by the American company Catana Corporation and whether the invention has attracted great interest at the International Auto Show in New York.

(3)   Can he also say what steps were taken to exploit this invention for Australian purposes and advantage.

(4)   Was any assistance sought from the Government in this matter. '

(5)   If so, was any assistance given: If not, why not..

Mr Nixon - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   My Department has been aware for some time that the company was developing a steam engine but has not conducted any examination to assess its performance. Such an examination would normally be a matter for the company itself. The company is free to bring to the attention of vehicle manufacturers the potential of its product to reduce emissions. Vehicle manufacturers are required to ensure their products comply with emission standards (Australian Design Rules No. 26 and No. 27) in force from 1st January 1972 and 1st January 1974 respectively.

(2)   1 understand that the rights to manufacture the engine in the United States of America have been purchased by an American Company, Parcoastal PXP Corporation, but that Pritchard Steam Power Pty Ltd retains the rights outside America.

(3)   The development of such an engine is regarded as a commercial venture so that any steps taken to exploit its invention would normally be expected to be taken by the company.

(4)   and (5) The Company was granted $188 in the financial year 1968-69 by the Australian Industrial Research and Development Grants Board. In addition the company was advised to approach the Commonwealth Development Bank and the Australian Innovation Corporation Ltd.

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