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Just as the world gets painted with gloom and doom and watches with caution, somewhere there is a ray of hope.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

Woooo hoooooo hoooooo – Not bad for the times……who said all hope is lost?

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