Construction of a contentious go-kart track at Mount Panorama in Bathurst has again been delayed, with the federal environment minister deferring a decision on the protection of a sacred Indigenous site in its path.
Sussan Ley made an emergency protection declaration on March 5, three days before construction was due to begin at the famous motor racing site in regional NSW.
The declaration, made under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act, paused construction of the track for 30 days to allow Ms Ley to visit the site and consult with council and traditional owners.
On Wednesday, the minister extended the declaration for another 30 days, while she consults on the terms of a permanent protection order.
She has drafted a 'section 10' protection declaration which will be subject to consultation.
The Wiradyuri Traditional Owners Central West Aboriginal Corporation in 2019 lodged a protection application over concerns a sacred women's site and endangered flora would be destroyed.
Four local councillors also oppose the current location for the track, and last year launched an unsuccessful bid to overturn the council's approval.
Under the current draft, a smaller area of land than originally sought would be protected, Ms Ley said, but the construction of any buildings or the undertaking of bulk earthworks would be banned.
"This debate has raised heartfelt emotions on all sides," she said.
"It (the draft) is one that recognises the significance of the site to Traditional Owners, but which also ensures the current usage of Mount Panorama/Wahluu as a racing venue, and as a venue for camping and other activities is preserved."
Ms Ley's decision is due by May 4.
The Corporation in early March told AAP it hoped a compromise could be reached to build the track elsewhere on the mountain.
"We're not against the track. We just don't want it built on a sacred women's site," public officer Yanhadarrambal Jade said.
"A person would only have to spend three seconds to realise the significance of this site. It is absolutely magical."