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World’s Best Rip-Off

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A British charity worker has been given the so-called “World’s Best Job” – becoming the caretaker of Hamilton Island, which is part of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland.

Ben Southall (34) was selected for the £73,000-a-year job after a ‘rigorous’ reality TV-style selection process which involved testing his ability to snorkel, barbecue and blog; there were more than 34,000 applicants from all over the world.

Well done that man, being paid to be permanently on holiday on a Pacific island is, many would contend, a dream come true, although whether it is, truly, the best job in the world remains unproven.

In true Quardlepleen style though, there has to be a few questions raised about what was, in effect, a cynical marketing ploy by Tourism Queensland, who were desperate to raise their profile while the world’s economy was being flushed down the toilet.

The job involves reporting on the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s most beautiful natural features, a reef which is currently under threat from climate change.

Did anyone stop and think whether any of the applicants were in the least bit qualified to report on the reef in anything other than the most superficial way? Did anyone stop and think that the last thing we need right now is important issues like the destruction of our coral reefs being reduced to a circus side-show? Did anyone stop and think how much good could be done with the huge amount of money that has been spent on this ridiculous spectacle?

Obviously not, so maybe every qualified marine biologist should now form an orderly queue so that a tourism officer from Queensland can personally slap them across the face.

[EDIT/Another question: If your job is to be the caretaker of a Pacific island, where do you go for your holiday? An office block?]

  1. Tam
    May 7, 2009 at 06:38

    Christ Max are you that jealous that you have to come up with such artificial outrage, what has Queensland ever done to you?

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