Byron Bay flood victims booted from emergency accommodation for Easter tourists

Fury in Byron Bay as residents left homeless by floods are ordered OUT of their emergency hotel accommodation to make way for Easter tourists

  • Byron Bay locals impacted by floods booted from emergency accommodation
  • Department of Communities and Justice said room was needed for tourists
  • Residents will be relocated to accommodation more than 100km away 

Byron Bay locals who have been driven out of their homes and forced to live in hotels because of the floods have been kicked out to make room for tourists.

Up to 60 people have been booted from their emergency accommodation after they were left homeless by the ‘unprecedented’ disaster on the north coast of NSW. 

The Department of Communities and Justice wrote a letter advising the flood-hit victims to seek shelter elsewhere during the Easter holidays.

The nearest emergency accommodation is located in the Gold Coast and Brisbane, which is more than 100km north from the holiday hotspot. 

Byron Bay locals who have been driven out of their homes and forced to live in hotels because of the floods have been kicked out to make room for tourists (pictured, locals wade through floodwaters)

The Department of Communities and Justice wrote a letter advising the flood-hit victims to seek shelter elsewhere during the Easter holidays (pictured, businesses cleaning up before Easter holidays)

The Department of Communities and Justice wrote a letter advising the flood-hit victims to seek shelter elsewhere during the Easter holidays (pictured, businesses cleaning up before Easter holidays)

More accommodation is located at Grafton, which is 180km south of the coastal town. 

Deputy secretary Paul Vevers said he was sincerely apologetic for the disruption before saying tourism was ‘vital’ for jobs and businesses. 

‘I just cannot apologise enough for the disruption that this will cause people and we will do everything that we can to minimise it,’ he told news.com.au

‘When Easter is over, we will transport people back again, and we will put people back in emergency accommodation, and they will be able to remain there for as long as they need.

‘All of the bookings were made months ago, in some cases people booked two years ago.’

Residents staying in caravan parks and motorhomes will be allowed to remain in the town. 

More than 1,600 people have been relocated to emergency accommodation by the Department of Communities and Justice.  

Floodwaters inundated Byron Bay on Wednesday, with water reaching unprecedented levels in the town centre.

Deputy secretary Paul Vevers said he was sincerely apologetic for the disruption before defending the decision saying tourism was 'vital' for jobs and businesses (pictured, a flooded street in Byron Bay on Thursday)

Deputy secretary Paul Vevers said he was sincerely apologetic for the disruption before defending the decision saying tourism was ‘vital’ for jobs and businesses (pictured, a flooded street in Byron Bay on Thursday)

Byron Bay newsagency owner Ron Delardes clears out his store after floodwaters spilled into the premises (pictured)

Byron Bay newsagency owner Ron Delardes clears out his store after floodwaters spilled into the premises (pictured)

The water has since receded but has left businesses scrambling to clean-up before the rush of the Easter long weekend. 

Businesses would usually be preparing for tourists flocking to the hotspot during school holidays, but instead they’re clearing out mud and damaged stock. 

Pictures show staff from several stores across Byron’s town centre donning mops, brooms and clearing out bags of rubbish on Thursday morning. 

Newsagency owner Ron Delardes said the flooding came quickly, taking him and other locals by surprise. 

‘We just didn’t believe it would happen, just so heavy,’ he told 9News. 

‘Came too quickly… we never thought it would come in the back door so that was a surprise.’ 

The floodwaters destroyed all of Mr Delardes’ stock and seriously damaged his shopfront, in what he’s described as a ‘disaster’. 

Another worker was spotted clearing out plastic garbage bags and salvaging what was left of stock at Dr Moose on Jonson St, a popular custom t-shirt printing store.    

Pictures show staff from several stores across Byron's town centre donning mops, brooms and clearing out bags of rubbish on Thursday morning

Pictures show staff from several stores across Byron’s town centre donning mops, brooms and clearing out bags of rubbish on Thursday morning 

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