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For all sorts of reasons you are better off keeping the same card. The casual designation in payroll is just that, a word that goes on the emplyee details form and potentially on the payslip. You can change it with no effect on the operation of the payroll.
Once you have changed the pay rate and included them under entitlements go to the Contact Log and make detailed notes on the change. Put a copy of these notes on file.
Would I need to change the start date, so that the leave entitlement start calculations as of that day?
I wouldn't change the start date - your notes under contact log should make it clear that there is a time difference between start date and accrual start date. Make sure that your entitlements are setup to 7.6923% of Gross hours - set up with overtime/s, HLL and any hourly allowances Exempted