CONSERVATION, including the saving of several endangered species and the renovation of creek and river banks, could be a whole new industry base for the Mary Valley, according to resident and volunteer Steve Burgess.
Mr Burgess, who works for the Mary River Catchment Co-ordinating Committee, said this week he was optimistic about working in association with private landowners, including the state co-ordinator general, to restore riparian environments, as a big part of saving species such as the Mary River cod and turtle.
He was expanding on comments earlier this week that a big new $2.5 million conservation grant from the Federal Government could be multiplied by co-operative arrangements with landholders, including State Government agencies.
Mr Burgess said he had high hopes of doubling the effectiveness of the $2.5 million by going halves with landowners on environmentally beneficial projects on their properties.
"We see this as the main anchor of the Threatened Species Recovery Plan," he said.
"If a landowner wants to control grazing animals and fence off part of the riverbank, we could advise on this and if they put some money in, we will match it.
"We hope to turn that $2.5 million into $5 million worth of benefit over the next six years.
"We also hope that flow-on effects will benefit and help develop other businesses, including nurseries growing plants for restoration projects."