‘An issue of national interest’: RBA deliberates whether King Charles III should appear on new $5 banknote

Nov 03, 2022
Th RBA has announced they are still deciding who will be on the $5 banknote. Source: Getty

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has announced they are “consulting” with the Federal Government over who should appear on the new $5 banknote following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, saying it may not default to King Charles III.

Traditionally, the reigning monarch has appeared on the $5 note, however, following Her Majesty’s death, the nation has seen calls for beloved Australian icons to be considered instead with the likes of former Olympian Cathy Freeman, Indigenous actor David Gulpili and entertainers Dani Minogue and Olivia Newton-John as popular suggestions.

Speaking at the RBA board’s dinner on November 2, the Governor of the RBA, Phillip Lowe, said the tradition of having a monarch on Australian currency went back to 1923 but the bank had heard the cries for a change in this tradition.

“We are currently considering the design of the $5 banknote following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. We recognise that this is an issue that is of national interest and there is a long tradition of the monarch being on Australia’s banknotes,” he said.

“Indeed, the monarch has been on at least one of Australia’s banknotes since 1923 and was on all our notes until 1953. Given this tradition and the national significance of the issue, the Bank is consulting with the Australian Government regarding whether or not the new $5 banknote should include a portrait of King Charles III.

“We will make a decision after this consultation with the government is complete.”

However, with anti-monarchy sentiments growing, the most popular suggestion to replace Queen Elizabeth’s face is the late but adored conservationist Steve Irwin.

A large portion of Australians flooded Twitter with mockups and demands of removing the monarchy from the nation’s currency.

The RBA’s consideration to stray from tradition is likely linked to the ongoing debate around whether Australia should remain a monarchy or become a republic, which kicked off almost immediately following the death of the Queen.

Despite the debate, a recent poll conducted by Roy Morgan found that support for the Monarchy has actually grown in the last 10 years.

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