Workplace laws bring nearly 90-year era to an end

THE Brooweena sawmill is no more.

Earlier this year, Workplace Health and Safety issued the mill's owners Robertson Brothers a notice not to operate their number one bench.

Graeme Robertson from Robertson Brothers Sawmills said the notice excluded the benchman from standing directly behind a saw.

Without the benchman, the mill can't operate and has been forced to close.

"Reviewing the capital cost to replace the bench, the difficulty we have experienced in the market over the last few years, bureaucracy and the uncertainty which still remains has made us take the difficult decision of closing the mill," he said.

Mr Robertson, whose family has owned the mill since 1993, said the decision had not been taken lightly.

"The mill has been operating on the site since 1924.

"As a family business we have prided ourselves on continuing to employ people in good times and in bad.

"Until now we have never made staff redundant."

He said the capital cost to upgrade the sawmill would be about $500,000.

Mr Robertson said common sense seemed to no longer play a part in workplace regulations.

Robertson Brothers held a barbecue for its staff on Thursday afternoon, thanking them for their hard work and dedication.