SYDNEY — It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.
A real job ad for an island caretaker in Australia that calls for someone to lounge around Australia’s Great Barrier Reef for six months has unemployed people the world over taking heart.
Billing it the “Best Job in the World,” the tourism department in Australia’s Queensland state on Tuesday said it was seeking one lucky person to spend half a year relaxing on Hamilton Island, part of the country’s Whitsunday Islands, while promoting the island on a blog.
Tthe “island caretaker” would be expected to stroll the white sands, soak up the sun, snorkel the reef, “maybe clean the pool” — and report to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates.
The winner, who will stay rent-free in a multimillion-dollar three-bedroom beach home complete with pool and golf cart, must be an excellent communicator and be able to speak and write in English.
The job, according to the Daily Telegraph, seems too good to be true — work 12 hours a month for six months while carrying out such duties as feeding turtles, watching whales and writing a blog.
The Australia-based newspaper reported on its Web site that no academic qualifications are required for the job advertised in 18 countries. However, strong swimming skills and a love of snorkelling and scuba diving are a must.
The Daily Telegraph reported 850,000 people clicked on the site within the first 24 hours, but as of As of 11 a.m. EST, the Web site for job-seekers had been taken down.
“They’ll also have to talk to media from time to time about what they’re doing so they can’t be too shy and they’ll have to love the sea, the sun, the outdoors,” said acting state Premier Paul Lucas.
“The fact that they will be paid to explore the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, swim, snorkel and generally live the Queensland lifestyle makes this undoubtedly the best job in the world.”
Lucas said the campaign was part of a drive to protect the state’s $12 billion a year tourism industry during the tough economic climate caused by the global financial meltdown.
While the campaign has elements of some reality television shows, a candidate’s looks will not be a prime requirement, Tourism Queensland chief executive Anthony Hayes told AFP.
“No, I don’t think beautiful is what we want, I think charismatic is what we want,” he said. “The reality is we are looking for a fantastic communicator.
“What we want this person to do is travel throughout the Great Barrier Reef and just try every experience, every adventure they can find and report back via blogs and video to tell the world why Queensland is a great place to come for a holiday.”
Tourism Minister Desley Boyle said some people might question whether it was risky to let an unknown person become an unofficial tourism spokesperson for the state.
“I think the biggest risk will be that the successful candidate won’t want to go home at the end of the six months,” she said.
“This is a legitimate job which is open to anyone and everyone.”
Applications are open until February 22. Eleven shortlisted candidates will be flown to Hamilton Island in early May for the final selection process and the six month contract will commence on July 1.
Job-seekers can apply at Islandreefjob.com
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