Pressure is increasing on Resources Minister Keith Pitt to determine an application for gas exploration off the Hunter Coast.
Mr Pitt said in February that a decision on an application by Advent Energy to extend the Petroleum Exploration Permit 11 by two years would be made 'soon'.
That was before Prime Minister Scott Morrison voiced his public opposition to the project.
The minister has since insisted he will not rush his assessment of the project.
"I have always said I will give this decision the careful and detailed consideration it deserves," Mr Pitt said.
It believes the project represents a "potential solution to substantial gas shortage issues".
Mr Pitt was absent from Parliament on Wednesday when Shortland MP challenged him to make a ruling on the application.
"Does anyone know where the Minister for Resources is, because he is completely missing in action when it comes to Advent Energy's PEP 11 licence," Mr Conroy said.
"The Minister obviously has a very different understanding of the word 'soon' than most of us, because almost four months on we are still waiting for a decision.
"It is vital now that this project be killed by the Minister as Advent are getting ready to drill. They are tendering right now for the drilling equipment to start drilling off the coast of places like Redhead beach. The ball is firmly in the government's court."
Community group Save Our Coast has collected 86,000 signatures on petitions to stop the PEP-11 project.
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A spokeswoman said it was disappointing Advent appeared to be pushing ahead with its plans.
"Save Our Coast has hoped all along for a fair process to meet the wishes of the communities directly affected by this dangerous fossil fuel project," she said.
"The future of PEP11 is currently in the hands of Minister Keith Pitt, so any steps toward drilling are untimely and outside of that fair process.
"Given the risk of disastrous social and environmental consequences of offshore drilling, we want to see positive action right now - not a vague promise for the next election."
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