A fire at the Gold Coast's only sugar mill could be the death knell for the region's sugarcane industry.
The Rocky Point Sugar Mill in Woongoolba, on the northern end of the Gold Coast, will not operate throughout this summer's crushing season after the fire at the factory in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Struggling canegrowers now face hefty financial losses, with costly transportation of their harvest to NSW the only chance to make any money from this year's crop.
Rocky Point District Cane Growers Organisation chairman Richard Skopp says while no one is giving up, the mill fire is the last thing farmers in the region need.
Growers were already behind in crushing their harvest after breakdowns at the Rocky Point mill had caused delays.
"It's going to have a severe impact on every farm in the district," Mr Skopp told AAP.
"We have only been crushing for about four weeks and have only got about 30 per cent of our cane cropped."
Local farmer Peter Kaddatz said trucking the cane over the border was an option that would require considerable expense.
"It is possible to truck cane but it is a matter of if we can absorb the costs and whether the mill is prepared to carry substantial amounts of those costs," Mr Kaddatz told the ABC.
"Farmers will contribute something, but we can't contribute that much."
The Rocky Point mill has been operating for more than 130 years but growers have become increasingly keen for the government to rezone the area for urban development.
Mr Skopp says Tuesday's fire only increases the need to have the land opened up for alternative purposes.
"We've been warning (the government) for years that this would happen to us," he said.
"When you get by on a shoestring budget then you're subject to these massive breakdowns."
Rocky Point is the smallest of Queensland's cane producing districts, producing approximately 200,000 tonnes of cane each year.