Liberal candidate for Moore Chris Wilkins
The Liberal-led Government has undertaken many significant reforms necessary to secure a bright future for our kids. More than anything else it is education that will give our kids the ability to make the most of the opportunities this State has to offer.
It is for this reason the Liberals have not shied away from making important decisions to give WA children the educational advantages they need.
The decision that Year 7 will become the first year of high school from 2015 is one of the most significant reforms to occur in the last decade.
Year 7 students moving to a secondary school setting is not just a change of location; it is an entirely new approach to learning.
This change is necessary for our children to make the most of new approaches to learning across Australia.
When the national curriculum is in place by 2015, children in Year 7 will be learning in greater depth in maths, science, English and history than they currently do.
They will be best placed to do this in secondary schools.
By 2015 90 per cent of all Year 7 students across Australia will be learning in secondary schools.
Private schools within WA made the shift a number of years ago.
We need to do so our kids in public schools can have the same advantages available to the rest of Australian students.
Our kids will fall behind if we do not do this.
Some parents are concerned about whether their child is too young for high school.
Changes to the school entry age in 2003 mean that children in Year 7 are now six months older than they were in the past.
This means many children currently in Year 7 are the same age as many Year 8 students were a few years ago.
The Liberal have also made sure that high pastoral care is a major focus for all schools, with a big boost to school psychologists and chaplains.
Schools are preparing transition strategies to make the move as smooth as possible and students will receive the pastoral care and support they need to assist them with the transition.
The Liberals are conscious that families living in country areas can experience greater challenges in preparing themselves for the move by 2015.
That is why we made the decision that regional students will be given additional time, if they need it.
Country primary schools will have the option of retaining Year 7 classes until 2018, where doing so is in the best interests of the students.
p Great Northern Highway
I believe that the Great Northern Highway is the most pressing road issue in Moore and welcome the recent commitment by the Liberal-led Government to straighten and widen the dangerous Bindi Bindi Curves section of the Great Northern Highway.
If elected, I will push hard for Royalties for Regions to fund upgrades to this highway. As it is a federal highway, I will work with Colin Barnett's team to lobby Canberra to appropriately fund this vital road.
p Regional Health
I will support the Liberal-led Government's Southern Inland Health Initiative, which is an unprecedented $585m investment in new and upgraded hospital and health facilities and improvements to service delivery. This includes early upgrade works at Jurien Bay, Lancelin, Moora and Dalwallinu.
This significant investment includes financial incentives for private practitioners to preserve and improve private medical practices in these country areas.