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Lani Oataway and Joanne Shoebridge

Flood victims told to leave emergency housing in Byron Bay to make way for Easter holiday-makers

The Department of Communities and Justice says it "cannot apologise enough" for moving people. (AAP: Jason O'Brien)

At least 60 victims left homeless after the northern NSW floods have been ordered by the government to leave emergency accommodation and make way for Easter tourists.  

The Department of Communities and Justice has written a letter advising people to "check out" by April 4.

The departments's deputy secretary Paul Vevers said the only accommodation the government could find to move people to was in Grafton, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Mr Vevers said 60 people would be shifted in the coming week, but could not give a total number of people who would be relocated.

The department was housing more than 1,600 people in emergency accommodation as of March 31, but said those staying in caravan parks and motorhomes would not be affected.

He said there was a team of employees calling hotels daily to snap up any cancellations that arose.

Byron Bay's inundated CBD earlier this week. (ABC North Coast: Bruce MacKenzie)

But Mr Vevers said he could not begrudge people who had booked to stay in the Byron Bay region for Easter.

"The Bluesfest was cancelled twice, and people have carried their bookings through.

"I would say tourism is vital in the Northern Rivers, it's vital for jobs, it's vital for businesses."

Mr Vevers said moving to accommodation in Queensland was not the "only option" — people could find their own lodgings, and get a "substantial" payment from Service NSW to help the transition.

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