The election seems like a distant memory as the new Government has been busy delivering our reform agenda. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for their continued faith in me as their local MP.
For the first time in sixteen years we have a new Government. I can report that our Premier Steven Marshall is working extremely hard to ensure we deliver on our key election commitments of more jobs, lower costs and better services.
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (17:36): I am very pleased to be able to speak on the Summary Offences (Disrespectful Conduct in Court) Amendment Bill. This is, of course, a piece of legislation that the Attorney-General brought to this house having previously raised a number of matters that are contained in the bill in the House of Assembly in previous years—I believe a couple of years ago as a private member's bill. It has come back to the house in relation to a range of matters, some of which have been brought forward in the public consciousness with respect to matters that have happened in other jurisdictions and some of which, indeed, are matters that have been particularly pertinent in South Australia.
Mr CREGAN (Kavel) (14:54):My question is to the Minister for Education. Can the minister update the house on programs the government is supporting in relation to language education?
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (14:54):I am very pleased to have that question from the member for Kavel, who I know has a strong passion for education, being the son of educators. His passion for his schools is very strong. I can inform the house that I get a letter or a phone call from the member for Kavel at least once a week, and I think that is something that a number of other ministers are familiar with. He is an excellent local member, always advocating for his schools and indeed for education across the state.
Mr TEAGUE (Heysen) (15:10):My question is to the Minister for Education. Can the minister update the house on progress towards meeting the government's election commitments relating to literacy and numeracy?
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (15:10):I thank the member for Heysen for his question and his particular interest in the importance of literacy and numeracy, which I am sure all members are aware is the foundation upon which so much of a child's education and further success in school and in life is built.
Mr TEAGUE: Can the minister update the house about activities of students engaging in STEM studies in the course of these school holidays?
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (14:43): I am very pleased to have that question from the member for Heysen who I know is greatly interested in his local schools and the activities of students. During the school holidays, I was very pleased to go to Mylor in the member for Heysen's electorate and spend some time with 108 students from around South Australia who are engaged in the STEM Explorer Program, year 7 and 8 students, who enjoyed their—and can I say from experience—extremely cold day in Mylor, indeed a cold week in Mylor. We also visited some other facilities around the state as they learnt more about STEM careers and the opportunities available through science and mathematics studies, the opportunities available to them further in life.
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: I would like to provide the house with an update on the situation that occurred at Renmark High School yesterday afternoon. An incident occurred where a 17-year-old student was seriously injured by another student. Our thoughts are, of course, with the injured student and her family as she continues to receive treatment at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, and I know that all members wish her a full and speedy recovery.
Student and staff safety should always be the first priority in situations like this. I wish to thank the school principal and staff for their courage in acting swiftly and decisively in such difficult circumstances. They alerted police, provided critical first aid to the injured student, and minimised risk to other students and staff. Schools have emergency procedures in place and undertake practice
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER:The Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee's role is to review the circumstances and causes of all child deaths in South Australia with a view to identifying legislative or administrative means of preventing similar cases of death or serious injury. There are approximately 100 deaths per year, from all causes, of children from birth to 18 years in South Australia. This independent statutory body has been conducting this important work in protecting our children by recommending measures for the prevention of circumstances that would lead or could lead to the death or serious injury of a child.
Mr TRELOAR (Flinders) (14:45):My question is to the Minister for Education. Can the minister update the house on the work being done to encourage young people in the electorate of Flinders to gain skills in aquaculture?
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (14:45):I thank the member for Flinders for this question, and I acknowledge his particular interest in the young people in his electorate, and indeed their futures, and his particular interest in supporting the aquaculture industry that is so important for the economy of Eyre Peninsula and of South Australia. I am very pleased to identify that there's a lot of good work being done to ensure that those young people in the member for Flinders's electorate have the opportunity to have a better future with more jobs. One of the ways in which we are doing that is by delivering better services. That's what the new Marshall Liberal government is doing.
The Government will put forward an expression of interest calling for education sites and trade industries to take the lead in establishing a new technical college in Adelaide’s western suburbs, fulfilling a 100-day commitment of the Marshall Liberal Government.