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Friday, November 27, 2020

Real estate industry urged to back virus-tracing app

Australia’s Real Estate Institute is urging anyone involved in the real estate industry to download the Australian Government’s new COVID-19 virus-tracing app, COVIDSafe.

Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) president, Adrian Kelly, said anyone connected to the industry, including salespeople, property managers, tradies and those attending inspections, should download and use the app.

“Now is the chance for the real estate industry to play our part and defeat this thing,” he said.

“The app will provide added confidence for those inspecting houses.

“While protocols for inspections have been established by the state and territory governments, the [tracing] would bolster any trace-backs of other contacts, should it be needed and add to the speed of containment of Coronavirus,” he said.

“Privacy is not the issue here. There is no procedure manual for this virus.”

Mr Kelly also urged real estate agents to “lead by example” by embracing the available technology.

“As an industry, and I include all our tenants and property owners, we are a powerful body so please, let’s do what needs to be done. Let’s play our part.”

COVIDSafe has been downloaded by more than 2.44 million Australians within the first 48 hours since its launch on Sunday evening, 26 April. The app works by using Bluetooth to note date, time and distance of any contacts, with the information securely encrypted by the app.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said in a social media post that the COVIDSafe virus-tracing app is a “useful and practical addition to our public health response” to the virus.

“There is an obvious health benefit of knowing that you have come into close contact with someone with the virus,” Mr Barr said.

“One way is to keep a written diary of all your daily interactions. Another is to automate the process through using the app.”

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