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Queensland Premier Anna Bligh is facing criticism from unions that her plan to quarantine 50 per cent of LNG royalties leaves no cash to address critical issues in the mining industry.
Under the move the Government will use half of future gas production royalties to fund a Queensland education trust.
The announcement has been welcomed by the Queensland Resources Council but labelled a desperate vote grab by the Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union.
The CFMEU says the move overlooks other tough issues in the mining industry, including skyrocketing rents, population imbalances, and fly-in-fly-out work.
But Bligh told ABC radio there would still be plenty of money available to address those issues.
“We’re not talking about putting every single royalty into this [education initiative],” she said.
“Of course there’ll be additional royalties to cope with growth, to put into hospitals, to put into roads.”
QRC chief executive Michael Roche said in a statement investing in the education trust would help transfer the resource boom’s benefits to the next generation.
“The Premier’s announcement of a Queensland education trust is an example of how this generation’s wealth creation can become a legacy for those that follow,” he said.
The Government’s plan will earmark $1.8 billion over the next ten years to educate and train future Queenslanders.
It will take the shape of either an individual education trust that can be accessed when students turn 18 or a dedicated fund for education and training beyond the basics provided in schools.