The $396 million Myalup-Wellington Project, which was set to expand irrigated agricultural production in Harvey, Waroona and Collie and create more than 800 jobs, has been labelled “not viable” by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan. Ms MacTiernan unveiled the project in 2018, however last week she said the project was not viable unless all commercial agreements were in place. “Despite the good will and commitment of all entities involved, it has not been possible to get these commercial agreements in place,” Ms MacTiernan said. She said the “escalating commercial uncertainties” between Collie mining company Griffin Coal and Collie power station Bluewaters presented challenges which were “beyond the control of either the State Government or Collie Water”. The project was expected to start this year and aimed to reduce the salinity in the Wellington Dam and deliver new irrigation water to the Myalup farming sector. The State Government had promised $37 million towards the project, while the Federal Government invested $190 million. Collie Water and private investors were set to put up the remaining $169 million. The multi-million-dollar project was expected to create “up to 830 jobs throughout the construction and operation phases”. Opposition Minister for Regional Development Steve Thomas urged Ms MacTiernan to not pull the funding and continue with the project. Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke would not comment on the issue, however the Liberal candidate for the electorate Michelle Boylan said it “was clear Labor did not have a plan for agriculture or jobs in Murray-Wellington”. “The project has the potential to be a game-changer for primary producers,” Mrs Boylan said. “More water means more production, more local jobs and a more sustainable future for our farmers. “They are putting $140 million in Federal Government funding at risk.” Despite the shadow of doubt cast over the project, Ms MacTiernan said she remained committed to “identifying solutions to manage salinity of Wellington Dam” and expanding agriculture. Harvey Water chief executive officer Bradd Hamersley acknowledged the complexity of the project and said his team was working with the State Government to find alternatives to the original scheme. “Pursuing a long-term solution to the Wellington Dam salinity issue remains a primary focus of Harvey Water,” Mr Hamersley said. “We have 220 members who are directly impacted by this issue and we will work towards retaining project funding.” Collie Water, the original proponent of the project, was contacted for comment.