Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley has further delayed her decision on the Brandy Hill quarry expansion to the end of this month, keeping the hopes of koala campaigners alive at least temporarily.
Ms Ley has postponed her decision on the controversial project until October 30. She was initially was set to hand down her verdict on September 8, but pushed that deadline back until October 13 before the most recent extension.
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment said the extended time frame would allow for the completion and consideration of additional site survey work.
The state government approved expansion of the quarry operated by Hanson in July but Ms Ley will have final say on whether it can go ahead.
Wildlife researchers, residents and campaigners have argued the site of the proposed extension is an important koala habitat.
Save Port Stephens Koalas campaign manager Victoria Jack said she was a bit surprised to hear the decision had been delayed as the group was in contact with the department as recently as Wednesday but nothing was mentioned.
The group provided additional information to the department on Tuesday, following a meeting they had with Ms Ley last month.
The information they submitted included a spreadsheet of koala sightings in the area and details about Hanson's environmental record.
Dr Jack said she believed the campaign was "absolutely" a factor in the second delay.
"There's lots of eyes on this decision," she said. "I think they're feeling the heat. There's so much community concern."
However, Dr Jack said the minister had already been provided with an independent expert report from the University of Newcastle showing evidence of breeding koalas in the area and the site being a "highly suitable habitat" for the marsupial.
"I don't know what more it would take to convince the minister to protect the habitat," she said.
Dr Jack said while campaigners were exhausted from their fight to stop the extension, they would keep the pressure on the government to reject the decision.
"We don't intend to stop," Dr Jack said. "We have to keep this on the agenda and keep raising awareness."
The campaign has caught the attention of Canadian singer K.D. Lang, who tweeted her support for the Save Port Stephens Koalas movement.