LNG royalties to education nest egg
TAFE and university scholarships for rural, regional and disadvantaged students would be possible initiatives under the State Government's Queensland Eduction Trust announced on Wednesday.
Premier Anna Bligh launched the plan to use 50% of the predicted $1.8 billion LNG royalties to fund the From Mines to Minds program, with the potential to be invested in a $9500 trust nest egg for Queensland children.
"We want to take the wealth from the earth and use it to train the minds of our children," Ms Bligh said.
"The QET can be the tool we use to build a bright future that will make Queensland the best place in the world to live, raise a family and fulfil your potential."
Ms Bligh said the trust could be invested in a number of ways, including establishing an individual trust account which would see every newborn receive a nest egg valued between $7800 and $9500 when 18.
Another proposed idea was a dedicated education fund where the proceeds were reinvested by the State Government in education and training initiatives beyond the basics throughout schooling years and potentially beyond.
"This would consist of an initial deposit of $500 at birth followed by a further contribution of around $3200 in the year they enter Prep when the first royalties from the LNG industry will begin to flow," Ms Bligh said.
"The decisions we make today will shape the Queensland of the future in a way that has never been possible in the past."
The Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens' Association said it was an "unprecedented commitment" to children's education.
The CFMEU branded the proposed plan as "yet another disappointing display of ignorance" from the State Government.
"At first glance it seems like a bid to buy votes and again ignore the serious policy challenges we confront if we are going to get the next mining boom right," state secretary Jim Valery said.