Tim Hosking, Steve Hinks and Murray Wood were having a beer together and throwing around ideas.
It was 2019, and Mr Hosking - who works for the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water - was talking about the impact the Black Summer bushfires were having on the platypus.
"It was a grim, grim time. The drought was raging and there was a whole lot of community concern, government concern about the plight of the platypus in the rivers," Mr Hosking said.
"We had to make hard decisions and we realised there was a gap in how we could look after the platypus."
Mr Hosking said he was asking Mr Hinks - Taronga Western Plains Zoo director - if it was possible to temporarily house animals "if those hard decisions had to be made".
"It highlighted just how dire the situation was in the river systems of western NSW," Mr Hinks said.
"We'd recently seen examples of massive fish die off in Menindee and those areas and it posed the question, 'what would it look like if it was platypus involved as well?' And that's a future we didn't even want to consider as an organisation."
Taronga Western Plains Zoo had the conservation and animal husbandry expertise. It also had the land.
As Dubbo Regional Council chief executive officer, Mr Wood could help the zoo navigate government funding opportunities.
"My role in the conversation was understanding how we can solve the problem. Every problem is an opportunity and it's how you bundle things up to get funding and support," he said.
"In my view, it was an opportunity not just to resolve the conservation issue but if we get it right we have a globally significant science habitat in Dubbo, in the Western Plains."
And so the Platypus Rescue Headquarters was born.
The world's largest purpose-built platypus conservation centre was officially opened at the Dubbo zoo on Tuesday, February 13.
The $12.2 million facility has the capacity to house up to 65 platypus during droughts or bushfires.
"It's protection for the future. In a climate change future rivers are going to come under more and more pressure and this is one tool in the toolbox to help. A major one," Mr Hosking said.
The facility is more than just a rescue centre. It will also be used for research.
It will allow researchers and staff to refine their conservation strategy for platypus by filling knowledge gaps across the species' breeding behaviour, biology and genetics.
Guests will also be able to meet ambassador platypus Mackenzie in the front-of-house habitat.