A drought emergency project to pump out the remnant water left in Burrendong Dam will create jobs and boost the local economy while extending the availability of dam water for towns and critical human needs in the Macquarie valley.

NSW Nationals Water Minister Melinda Pavey and Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders welcomed the announcement from WaterNSW that the contract has been awarded and the urgent drought relief project is on track.

Seymour Whyte has been awarded a $6.7 million contract to construct the pumping station, coffer dam and electrical systems to extract water from the storage should the dam’s water level fall below the outlet valve next year.

The company has confirmed they will employ up to a dozen local contractors and purchase locally available equipment and materials where possible to deliver the project, with construction due for completion in February 2020.

Mr Saunders said the project – which will include Australian-manufactured pumps and switchboards – was of the utmost priority and commended WaterNSW in delivering the project to this stage in a timely manner.

“The NSW Nationals in Government have funded this project as part of a range of works to extend supply to towns reliant on Burrendong Dam, and I have made clear my intention that these projects will be delivered on time,” Mr Saunders said.

“I also welcome the news that the project will generate jobs and timely economic benefit in local communities through the use of local contractors, the purchase of those materials that are locally accessible and the additional expenditure on hospitality and other consumer goods while the work takes place.”

Mrs Pavey said the work at Burrendong would complement projects being completed by Dubbo Regional Council, utilising funding announced earlier this year

“By maximising the availability of the water remaining in Burrendong Dam, we buy time to allow communities such as Dubbo – where this Government has committed $30 million in drought infrastructure funding – to put in place alternative water supply sources,” she said.