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Wanted: Paradise island 'caretaker'

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The job description for 'the best job in the world'

Tourism officials in Australia are describing it as "the best job in the world".

They want someone to work on a tropical island off the Queensland coast.

No formal qualifications are needed but candidates must be willing to swim, snorkel, dive and sail.

In return, the successful applicant will receive a salary of A$150,000 ($103,000, 70,000) for six months and get to live rent-free in a three-bedroom villa, complete with pool.

Feeding fish

We need a special person. They are going to be pretty busy having a good time
Anthony Hayes, Chief Executive, Tourism Queensland

Anthony Hayes, Chief Executive, Tourism Queensland, said: "It doesn't sound too bad does it? We are looking for someone to tell the stories of the Great Barrier Reef and we have come up with what we think is the dream job."

The post is being advertised as "caretaker" on Hamilton Island in Australia's Whitsunday Islands.

The new recruit will work for just 12 hours a month. Duties include feeding some of the hundreds of species of fish and collecting the island's mail.

Picture: Hamilton Island - courtesy Tourism Queensland
They will also need to prepare a blog, a photo diary and video updates to attract tourists to the area.

"There are hundreds of islands scattered along the Great Barrier Reef," Mr Hayes told the BBC. "We are looking for someone who can go and explore all the different islands then report back to the world on what they see.

"We need a special person. They are going to be pretty busy having a good time."

Hamilton Island, where the temperature is warm all year round, is the largest inhabited island in the region. It boasts blue skies, crystal water and pure sands.

Thousands of applications

About two million tourists visit the various islands each year, but most stay on the mainland and visit only on day trips.

The job is being advertised around the world. Candidates have until 22 February to submit an online video application.

GREAT BARRIER REEF
World's largest coral reef system
1,600 miles long
2,900 individual reefs
400 species of coral
2,000+ different fish species
Source: BBC Science & Nature

In May, 10 shortlisted candidates and one wildcard, voted for by visitors to the Tourism Queensland website, will be invited to the islands for a four-day final interview process. The successful candidate will start the new job on 1 July.

Mr Hayes says he is expecting thousands of applications: "I'm having to beat my staff off with a stick at the moment because most of them want to apply too."



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SEE ALSO
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Coral reef growth is slowest ever
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Australia sets new climate target
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Great Barrier Reef divers found
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'Alarming' plight of coral reefs
10 Jul 08 |  Science & Environment
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13 Nov 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Australia
05 Sep 08 |  Country profiles

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