Thu, Jan 15, 2009 - Page 5 News List

‘Best job in the world’ crashes Australian Web site

TAKE THIS JOB AND... Sun and surf-loving English speaker wanted to live six months rent-free in three-bedroom beach house for US$100,000. Airfare included

AFP , SYDNEY

Huge global interest in “the best job in the world” — earning good money for lazing on a paradise island — has crashed the Australian Web site where it is advertised, officials said yesterday.

“We’ve been inundated, with around 300,000 people visiting the site yesterday,” said a spokeswoman for the Queensland state government, which is offering the six-month post of “island caretaker.”

“The Web site crashed — in one hour alone 25,000 people were trying to visit — but we’re working on it and it should be up and running again later today,” Nicole McNaughton said.

The job pays A$150,000 (US$100,000) and includes free airfare from the successful candidate’s home country to tropical Hamilton Island on the famed Great Barrier Reef.

In return, the winner will be expected to have as much fun as he or she can — soaking up the sun, swimming, snorkeling, sailing — and report to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates.

The successful candidate — who will stay rent-free in a multi-million-dollar three-bedroom beach home — must be over 18, a “fantastic and charismatic” communicator, and able to speak and write English.

The campaign is a key element in a drive to promote the northeastern Australian state’s A$18 billion a year tourism industry during the tough global economic climate, officials say.

And they are at pains to stress that it is “a real job.”

The successful applicant will “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,” he said.

“We’ve had visitors [to the Web site] from as far and wide as Mongolia and Vatican City” since the job was first widely publicized on Tuesday, McNaughton said.

More than 350 applications had been submitted before the Web site crashed — from the UK, the US, Croatia, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands and Portugal among other countries.

“The applicants so far have ranged from a Swiss horsewoman to a sun-seeking teenager from England to ‘Richard’ from the UK who can be seen swimming with the fish in his application,” she said.

Candidates are required to create a video application in English of up to one minute explaining why they are uniquely qualified for the job.

Applications are open until Feb. 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 on www.islandreefjob.com.

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