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Resources boom education trust proposed

November 30 2011

Resources boom education trust proposed

Photos: Lime

The Queensland Government has launched a plan to use the state's resources to fuel the education of the next generation of Queenslanders.

West End State School was the venue for the launch by Premier Anna Bligh of From Mines to Minds: A proposal to establish a Queensland Education Trust (PDF, 980KB)

The paper proposes the establishment of a multi-billion dollar Queensland Education Trust (QET) using 50 per cent of future LNG royalties - projected at more than $1.8 billion in the next 10 years alone.

'We want to take the wealth from the earth and use it to train the minds of our children,' said the Premier.

'We can harness the energy of the decade of prosperity we see before us to create a golden generation that will secure Queensland's bright future for a century and more.'

It is proposed the Queensland Education Trust could be invested in different ways including:

  • Individual Trust Accounts for Education - an individual endowment that would mean every newborn child would have a nest egg valued between $7800 and $9500 when they turn 18 or
  • Dedicated Education Fund - an investment fund where the proceeds are reinvested by the Government in education and training initiatives beyond the basics throughout the schooling years and potentially beyond.

Under the trust account model every Queensland child born on or after July 1, 2012 would receive a savings endowment at birth that could be accessed at age 18.

The proposal is for an initial deposit of $500 at birth followed by a further contribution of around $3,200 in the year they enter Prep.

Ms Bligh said this was when the first royalties from the LNG industry would begin to flow.

'This money will be invested by the QET until the young person turns 18 when they can use the money towards education or training costs,' she said.

Under the second option the QET would invest up to 50 per cent of LNG royalties as an education 'future fund' to be used to provide extra funding over and above what is currently provided.

Under this model the QET would set aside funds for specific initiatives such as TAFE and university scholarships for rural, regional and disadvantaged students, international exchange programs and language programs

Feedback on the QET proposal is invited before February 17, 2012 by writing to Education Trust, PO Box 15185, Brisbane 4000 or email at Education.Trust@premiers.qld.gov.au. Feedback can also be provided online at the QET website.