More than 12 months after Planning Minister Mick Gentleman promised to grant 25-year leases to farmers in the Majura Valley, none are any closer to signing on the dotted line and getting on with their lives.
The ACT government says it waiting on the Department of Defence to do its part in the process to degazette those parts of the properties in the valley that are on national land - the same thing it was waiting to do a year ago.
Farmer Paul Keir, whose family has farmed in the Majura Valley since 1956, said he was close to breaking point, likely unable to get a bank loan refinanced without confirmation of a lease.
Despite positive relations with the government, including usually open communications, Mr Keir said it had been radio silence from the government for the past six months, despite repeated attempts by the farmers to get some kind of update or timeline.
"They've just gone completely silent now. Well, I can't bring silence into my bank manager," Mr Keir said.
For almost two decades, the farmers have been living with the possibility they could be removed from their properties with just 90 days' notice after their leases expired in 2005 and were not renewed. The situation has made it almost impossible to develop the land in the way they would like.
Added to the complexity is that some of the land is on ACT land and some on Commonwealth.
Majura Valley Free Range Eggs owner Anne McGrath said she had a shed that was half on ACT land and half on Commonwealth.
The farmers thought the stalemate over the land tenure was broken in September last year when planning officials invited them to the Legislative Assembly and made them a formal offer to go on 25-year leases, less than they wanted, but better than nothing.
Mr Keir, also president of Majura Valley Landcare, said within days of that meeting the farmers had told the officials they would accept 25-year leases.
Mr Gentleman then, in a letter in December last year, said he appreciated the farmers' "confirmation that they are keen to move forward with a lease term of 25 years with no withdrawal provision".
"I appreciate that the landholders were seeking a 99-year lease but this had to be weighed against the strategic importance of the land to the ACT over the medium and long term, subject to the outcomes of future detail planning and infrastructure investigations," Mr Gentleman wrote.
"Notwithstanding, I am hopeful that this will provide necessary security of tenure for them.
"The ACT's position was recently put to Defence who were positive in response.
"The ACT government's Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) and Defence are now starting the process for the formal agreement for the degazettal of land.
"However, an important consideration for the ACT and ultimately for each landholder is that the land is degazetted by Defence at no cost."
A spokesperson for the ACT government said this week it was continuing to work with Defence.
"The Department of Defence has commenced their due diligence processes consistent with the Commonwealth Property Disposal Policy when considering an off-market sale of Commonwealth Land," they said.
"The Department of Defence and the Department of Finance are the approving authority for off-market sales. No lease offer can be made until the land has been degazetted.
"The ACT government is awaiting further information from the Commonwealth government and is not able to provide any further update at this time.".
When asked what "off-market sales" meant the spokesperson for the government said: "There'll be no public sale, the existing land occupiers will receive the lease offer."
Lobbyist Sherry McArdle-English, who is representing some of the farmers, said she had tried to set up meetings with Mr Gentleman or Chief Minister Andrew Barr to get an update, to no avail.
"We feel we have been ghosted by them," she said.
The farmers say they feel like they are living in limbo.
"The ideal outcome would be for them to give me a timeline that I could take to the bank and hopefully I can get them to hang in there," Mr Keir said.
Mrs McGrath, who has run an egg and lamb farm on Majura Road since 1999, said the farms had proved there was an appetite for rural enterprises in the valley.
A sunflower maze on Mrs McGrath's property attracted thousands of people each year. That was apart from their egg and lamb operations.
She had plans to develop the site further as an agri-tourism attraction.
"To keep running a business, it's really important we have secured tenure because our financial lenders are getting a little bit antsy with the situation," she said.
"They know when everything becomes true and good with the leases, we'll be able to grow exponentially and benefit Canberrans and interstate people.
"Just this week, my son Fred prepared the sunflower bed. Last year, we attracted thousands and thousands of people to the maze from Canberra and the region and Sydney and Melbourne.
"We want people to have an experience like this on the land, but we need to be able to say, 'Yeah, we're going to be here in 25 years' time. Or more'."
Ms McArdle-English said the farmers had displayed more than enough goodwill and patience.
"These are farmers who have respected the government processes, have believed in government and have tried to negotiate with government," she said.
The Defence Department has been asked to comment but has to date not responded.