CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s central bank announced Thursday that King Charles III will not appear on Australia’s new $5 banknote, signaling the British monarchy’s phasing out of Australian banknotes, although it is always expected that It appears on coins.
A new Aboriginal design will replace an old portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II, the Reserve Bank of Australia said, in a move that honors the “culture and history of early Australians”.
“The obverse of the $5 bill will continue to depict the Australian Parliament,” the bank said in a statement.
The $5 bill is the only banknote in Australia that features the King.
She said the decision was taken after consultation with the government, which supported the change.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jim Chalmers commented on the decision, saying the change was “an opportunity to strike a good balance”.
“He will always be the king on the coins, but the $5 bill will say more about our history, our heritage and our country, and I think that’s a good thing,” he told reporters in Melbourne.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton compared the move to changing the date of the national holiday, Australia Day.
He told Radio 2GB: “I know the silent majority doesn’t agree with a lot of the awake bullshit, but we need to know more about these people online.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Dutton said, played a pivotal role in the king’s decision not to appear on the note, urging him to “stick it out”.
The bank plans to consult with indigenous groups on the design of the $5 bill and is waiting years before announcing it.
The current $5 will continue to be issued until the new design is introduced and will be legal tender.
The face of King Charles III is expected to appear on Australian coins later this year.