IN the midst of a struggling industry, the team at Bulahdelah's S A Relf and Sons sawmill has shown resilience according to parliamentary secretary for natural resources Troy Grant.
Mr Grant officially declared the sawmill's new $800,000 computer-controlled multi-saw open last Tuesday.
"The industry can't survive without the commitment and confidence to innovate in times of trouble," he said during the opening.
"And it's such a valuable part of our state economy."
The new saw will take a large load off the manual labourers. Anthony Dorney who manages the mill along with his brothers Gary and Glen Dorney said more timber could now be chopped using the same amount of staff.
"We were producing about 30 cubic metres a day and now we're producing about 40 to 45," he said.
Tea Gardens councillor Len Roberts also commented on the multi saw bringing a new standard of safety to the mill.
"Gone are the days of people who work in the timber industry having a short working life," he said.
"Believe it or not computers have actually helped the timber industry."
The Dorney brothers owned saw mill, along with their other nearby mill at Markwell are the largest employers in Bulahdelah. Combined the two mills along with the harvesting side of their business employ more than 100 people.
"People underestimate the value these long term residents have invested in the town of Bulahdelah," Cr Roberts said.
"Their contribution to the fabric and sustainability of the town needs support from all levels of government."
Great Lakes councillor Jan McWilliams who also attended the opening said the sawmills were important in keeping Bulahdelah alive.