Easter holiday makers are forcing thousands of North Coast flood victims out of crisis accommodation and to moved hundreds of kilometres to motels and hotels on the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) is currently providing emergency accommodation for approximately 1,500 people affected by the Northern Rivers floods in hotels, recreation parks and motor homes.
DCJ Deputy Secretary Paul Vevers offered his apologies and said the department acknowledged the significant trauma experienced by people in flood affected communities.
"We are doing everything we can to minimise distress to those who are displaced from the floods and assisting them to rebuild their lives," Mr Vevers said.
"We apologise for the inconvenience and would like to reassure people that every effort is being made to complete these transfers with minimal disruption at this stressful time."
Accommodation continues to be provided to people who've initially spent time in evacuation centres and who are unable to return home,
Regrettably some of these accommodation options are not available during the Easter and school holiday period due to other bookings made well before the devastating floods.
Hotels and other accommodation in Northern NSW have had advanced bookings for many months, and in some cases for two years, for this period.
"We do not want to leave people without accommodation and our focus will always be on trying to accommodate people as close to their communities as possible," Mr Vevers said.
"However because of the shortage of available rooms at this time, we are having to relocate some people to alternative accommodation in Brisbane and the Gold Coast."
Transport to Brisbane and the Gold Coast is being provided where needed. People who have their own means of transport will be provided with a $150 fuel voucher to cover the cost of the move.
Every household being moved will be provided with a $250 Woolworths Voucher per adult to assist with groceries and supplies.
We will ensure households are moved back closer to their communities once the holiday period is over.
The NSW Government is providing people the opportunity to book alternative accommodation until their permanent home is available.
The Flood Recovery Support Payment increases with household size and starts at $6,000 for a single person and increases for each additional household member to $15,200 for a five-person household and more for bigger households. More information is available through Service NSW.
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