$1b trust fund plan for kids

ALMOST 45,000 children born on the Sunshine Coast in the next decade could be given up to $9500 when they hit 18.

One option in a $1.8 billion State Government plan announced by Premier Anna Bligh yesterday is to create a trust account for babies born after June 30 next year.

The other option is a kind of education "future fund" which would be used for TAFE or university scholarships, exchange programs or language courses.

Ms Bligh promised to quarantine 50% of royalties from liquefied natural gas for an education trust.

She said the government had to ensure the revenue from LNG was not squandered.

"We are on the cusp of a bright future, bringing massive prosperity in the coming decade," she said.

"We can use that prosperity to create a golden era that can last for a hundred years - that is our vision for Queensland."

In the case of the trust fund, youngsters will have $500 put into an account when they are born, followed by $3200 when entering prep.

When they turn 18, that money would be worth between $7800 and $9500 to pay for more education.

State Government figures show births on the Coast are projected to rise from an average of 4000 next year to almost 5000 a year by 2022.

That means 44,990 newborns on the Coast over the next 10 years.

Caloundra West mother Belinda Costello said the education investment was an "awesome idea" if it stacked up.

"You just have to be interested to know how it's managed, where the money is coming from and is it replacing something," she said.

Ms Costello said she was wary of programs reliant on mining payments.

"Is it there to make us happy about mining practices?" she said.

"I think it's great to be putting money towards children's education, but I don't know at what cost."

Opposition education spokesman Bruce Flegg said Queensland's education system needed help now, not in the decades to come.

"Queensland is ranked last, or near last, of all the states in literacy and numeracy standards across all year levels," he said.

Mr Flegg said the LNP would grow the economy based on agriculture, tourism, construction and resources, but made no comment about education reform or investment.

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