Could this re­ally be the ‘best job in the world’?

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Emily Smith

IMAG­INE a work­place where one of the only rules is “don’t stand too long un­der the co­conut trees”.

For the per­son lucky enough to se­cure the role of St Bees Is­land care­taker, that’s one of the only tips “man­ager slash beach bum” Phil Webb is likely to of­fer, along with a strict ad­her­ence to ‘is­land time’ and an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of glis­ten­ing, aqua­ma­rine ocean views.

Mr Webb has lived on the 1500-acre St Bees, the lesser­known neigh­bour to Keswick Is­land at the south­ern end of the Whit­sun­days, for al­most two years with owner Agnes Jack­son and her son Dean.

Much of that time has been spent re­fur­bish­ing the di­lap­i­dated for­mer re­sort, first built in the 1930s, which runs on gen­er­a­tors and so­lar power.

While Mr Webb said the car­a­van of­fered to the fu­ture care­taker wasn’t the job’s big­gest sell­ing point, it did sit al­most on the beach and boasted ocean-fac­ing win­dows.

And like the win­dows of each of the four build­ings on the se­cluded is­land, they framed a breath­tak­ing pic­ture.

St Bees is best known for hav­ing one of the health­i­est koala pop­u­la­tions in Aus­tralia and is fre­quented by re­searchers from the Univer­sity of Queens­land.

“Once we looked down at Home­stead Bay and two koalas were just walk­ing across the beach,” Mr Webb said.

“But you don’t see them reg­u­larly. You usu­ally have to go for a bit of a bush­walk.”

Wildlife lovers may also be en­ticed by the whales, dol­phins and tur­tles that can be spot­ted dur­ing the hour-long barge ride from Mackay.

But it was the leisurely pace of life that first at­tracted Mr Webb to the is­land, which he de­scribes as a lot more “nat­u­ral” than the lux­u­ri­ous re­sorts at neigh­bour­ing Hamil- ton or Daydream.

He moved from the Gold Coast, where he’d owned a rac­ing car team, to be­gin over­haul­ing the re­sort.

Pre­vi­ously he’d man­aged a golf course in the Blue Moun­tains, but said St Bees out­did it when it came to views.

He sug­gested care­taker ap­pli­cants should be a ‘jack-of-- all-trades’ who could com­mit to a bit of work each morn­ing, but stressed he wasn’t a hard task master, and that they’d still have plenty of time for fish­ing and even a game of beach-golf at low tide.

Any­one in­ter­ested in the job should phone Mr Webb on 0425 258 115 or email stbeesis­land@gmail.com.

RECRUITING: St Bees man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Phil Webb is look­ing for a care­taker. Photo: Shakira Sellen

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