Beds were being urgently sought for 70 residents of an aged-care home at the Gold Coast on Thursday night after staff walked out over a reported pay dispute.
Operator HelpStreet Group was removing equipment and fridges from Earle Haven Retirement Village and only a few staff remained at the site on Thursday afternoon, a Queensland Health spokeswoman said.
After emergency meetings between Queensland Health and the Queensland Ambulance Service, a decision was made to relocate the residents.
But the immediate priority, the spokeswoman said, was ensuring residents were being cared for and felt safe.
"We had to bring everything in ourselves - the food, drinks, fridges and staff - to help," she said.
"Residents received no notice and I understand the staff weren't aware (of) what was happening and we were told about 3pm of this situation."
The spokeswoman said the department was working to smoothly transition residents as soon as possible.
"We have secured about 50 nursing homes around the Gold Coast but should have everyone moved in a few hours," she said.
"Any overflow will be taken care of in our hospitals and an emergency crisis team, including doctors, nurses and social workers were sent to the aged care to provide assistance."
The spokeswoman said all residents were in good health.
"We are trying to keep everything like business as normal and we are following their standard timetable," she said.
"They have all had their medication and we've been liaising (with) the GPs to look after all residents."
It was crucial families knew what was happening.
The department was trying to contact all affected families and had set up a hotline for relatives with queries: 1300 004 242.
Nine News reported staff had called triple zero claiming the village had gone into administration after a pay dispute between owners, management and workers.
A video obtained by the network showed staff confronting management.
"For the month of July, I asked you to pay the subsidies," a staff member said.
"You can't just pay the staff wages. What about the suppliers and the food, the insurances and everything else that goes with running that?"
Another staff member said: "At the end of the day, it's really sad because the only people that get hurt here are the residents because the people they love that look after them are now walking out."
Queensland Health released a statement that said the federal Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission had been informed while Queensland Health and QAS provided short-term assistance.