Feb 1, 2023
Royal Family Will Be Ditched From Australia’s Five-Dollar Note
(Bloomberg) -- Australia plans to drop the head of the British royal family from its five-dollar banknote in favor of a design that honors the culture of the country’s Indigenous people.
The new note will replace the portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II with a tribute to the First Australians, rather than an image of King Charles III, the Reserve Bank said in a statement Thursday. The decision followed a consultation with the Federal government.
“The five-dollar note will say more about our history and our heritage and our country,” Treasurer Jim Chalmers told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday. “I see that as a good thing.”
The government had already hinted last September, shortly after the Queen’s death, that it wouldn’t use her son’s image on the new banknote. The note will take a number of years to be designed and printed, and will be in consultation with First Nations people.
Along with Canada, New Zealand and other former colonies of the British Empire, Australia still counts the monarch as its head of state. A referendum in 1999 to become a republic was narrowly defeated, yet the debate has simmered as Australia’s stature as a regional power and globally significant economy has grown. Previous polls suggest the population is roughly split about breaking from Britain.
Read More: Australia Begins Moving Away From Controversial National Day
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has previously suggested he would like to see a national referendum on Australia becoming a republic during his time in office, making an Australian the head of state.
Britain’s Royal Mint last year said it would begin the slow process of switching the late Queen with the King on UK currency and stamps. The government has already announced the King’s profile will appear on Australian coins at some point in 2023.
(Updates with Treasurer comment in third paragraph)
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