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Airbnb Co-founder Joe Gebbia ‘bet the company’ on the belief that people would trust each other enough to stay in one another's homes. How did Airbnb overcome ‘stranger danger’? Supposedly through ‘good design’.

“Airbnb Trust & Safety – Your safety is our priority: Learn all about trust, security, and protection on Airbnb. Tools, techniques, and tips for an amazing Airbnb experience. And much more.”

Currently Airbnb and ASTRA are pushing back against Federal compliance issues and any sort of registration and licensing of their commercial short-term tourist/visitor operations in NSW.

Forgive us: we’ve renamed ASTRA. Surely it should be A(N)STRA – Australian (Non-Accredited/Non-Certified) Short-Term Rental Association? Real Estate Principal and A(N)STRA Board Member Joan Bird yesterday shared advice with Airbnb landlords on “how to achieve significant savings in commercial environments”. With a smart, remote AirCON Off – ‘con’ by name, con by nature - “guests don’t even know their air conditioner usage is being ‘optimised’…” by remote control in favour of the landlord. You see, ‘The Placebo Effect’, as much loved by Ms Bird, is a feature that ensures that the user believes the air conditioner is operating without restrictions in its operating temperature range. If an Airbnb landlord programs the minimum temperature to say 23 degrees and sets the ‘Placebo Effect’, a user will find that the remote will appear to allow selection of temperatures as low as 18 degrees, with corresponding beeps from the AC as the remote scrolls lower. However, the ‘Smart Remote Pro’ will keep the AC operating at no lower than the preset minimum. The effect of this is to…facilitate power savings without generating negative user feedback. It’s the same thing in reverse for those, like Joan, situated in the snow regions of NSW – “guests still think it’s set at 30 degrees”. The Brisbane-based distributor recommends their gadget for Holiday Homes/Apartments, Aged and Child Care and other facilities. And Joan Bird has “never had a complaint”. Here’s a short video.

Hello NSW Fair Trading – are there any concerns about such strategies?

Joan Bird has also provided ‘a quick update’ to the Airbnb/A(N)STRA crew on NSW Fire/Rescue and Federal Building Codescompliance . We hasten to add that we, Neighbours Not Strangers, are not qualified to enter into a consultation scenario on this critical infrastructure. Suffice to say that connecting smoke alarms to interior light wiring at $200 a pop – as recommended by Ms Bird - doesn’t sound to us like meeting national Building Codes of Australia ‘Deemed-To-Satisfy Provisions’. When a ‘change of use’ from Residential (Class 1(a) and Class 2) to commercial Short-Term Tourist/Visitor Rentals (Class 1(b) and Class 3) occurs, surely up-to-date safety and construction code provisions must be met?

For the safety and peace of mind of all NSW Residents, those studying and holidaying in our State and those visiting us from interstate and overseas, the NSW Government must ensure that all tourist/visitor properties comply with mandated Federal legislation. This needs to include properties listed on the State Government’s own Visit NSW and Visit Sydney websites.

And for Joan Bird and her Airbnb/Stayz/A(N)STRA followers, this updated Building Codes of Australia, National Construction Codes 2019 document may assist. The 89-page ‘read’ will no doubt prove helpful in understanding some of the complexities of that which is in force. Also available for those seeking further guidance is the Fire Protection Association of Australia, the National peak body for fire protection. It is our major technical and education fire safety organisation and provides information, services and education to the fire protection industry and the community.

Trust those who rebuke certification and complince? Those selling short-term tourist/visitor rentals must not be permitted to circumvent legislation.

Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits

Neighbours not Strangers

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