ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

A Lake Betoota cleaner learned today that the Airbnb listing he just cleaned for $100 attracts a cleaning fee of $250 plus all the outrageous service fees on top.

Speaking to The Advocate today, Noman Ali (a recent recipient of a permanent visa) said that now that he has some protections when it comes to his workplace, he’s willing to outline the con that some members of our cosmopolitan desert community are pulling.

“They’re not even paying me cash,” he said.

“We quoted them $200, and they told us $100 or they would get in touch with whoever is sponsoring us, telling them that we’re looking for work on the side that’s outside the scope of our student visa. So we took $100. The owners pay our handler in China, and our handler pays us via a debit card that he tops up from overseas. The money goes directly from the owners to China,”

“I get paid $50 of that $100.”

The house that the 29-year-old cleans belongs to Dale and Marcia Clarke, who recently inherited it from Dale’s father.

Dale’s father selfishly needed many years of expensive aged care and private treatment for a number of ailments. All of which ate into the inheritance that both Dale and Marcia were banking on.

“So we’re making up for lost time,” laughed Dale.

“No. Seriously, though. Dale built this place himself when we were kids. He did a lot of it himself. He put the extension on about 15 years ago. Mum loved coming here before the accident. But Dad was sick for a long time, probably five years or so. We had to pay for so much treatment and care. It was so expensive,”

“Marcia and I tried to guilt my sisters into looking after him, but they selfishly wouldn’t move back to Betoota from London and Perth, so it was just me here. I have a life and my own family, so I couldn’t look after him. My oldest sister has no family. So selfish!”

“With taxes and everything, it’s not as lucrative having an Airbnb as it used to be. So you need to make money where you can. If the cleaner is upset, he should have a go like I did and wait for his inheritance,”

“It’s unAustralian to have a whinge. Especially over $150! [laughs] We might have to sell it at this rate!”

More to come.


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