Queensland Premier Anna Bligh at Parkhurst State School.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh at Parkhurst State School.

Bligh kicks off campaign in Rocky

UPDATE 2pm: Anna Bligh will fast track the Mines to Minds education scholarships after overwhelming feedback  from Queenslanders.

Queensland students will start receiving $4000 scholarships funded by the burgeoning liquefied natural gas industry in three years' time, 15 years earlier than originally flagged.

Year 12 students graduating in 2015 would be the first to get the Mines to Minds money, to be spent on tertiary education or training.

The Mines to Minds plan was originally set to start in 2030.

"We've listened and that's what we have delivered," Ms Bligh told reporters at the Parkhurst State School in North Rockhampton.

"We've got to look beyond the resources boom, we've got to use it now to create the economy that comes next and the best way to put that is into our children."

To make the earlier payments possible, the scholarships have been cut from the original $7000.

The second part of Labor's Mines to Minds scheme would establish Today Grants, which will spend up to $970 million over the next decade on schools and skills.

Around $10 million will be spent on the grants this financial year, ramping up to $60 million by 2020.

As gas royalties will start flowing only in 2015, the first three years of funding for the grants will come from GST payments.

A Labor government would legislate for the plan in its first 100 days.

The premier announced Mines to Minds last year and asked for feedback on whether the fund should just be used solely for scholarships or the grants.

Of the submissions received, more than 60 per cent wanted the individual accounts and 24 per cent wanted a hybrid with the grant scheme.

 

BREAKING 9am: Premier Anna Bligh chose Rockhampton to kick off her election campaign this morning. 

After a 6am run along the banks of the Fitzroy River, the besieged Premier did a talk-back radio interview on 4RO where she talked about  "the fight of my life'' to hold on to government.

She is expected to make an announcement on an education issue this morning at a Parkhurst school, on the city's northern outskirts.



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