Australia currency notes: In a major development, Australia has decided to remove the British monarchy from its currency notes. According to the country's Reserve Bank, the new USD 5 bill would feature an Indigenous design to replace a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, who died last year in September.
However, King Charles III, who acceded to the British throne after the death of his mother, is still expected to appear on coins. Notably, the USD 5 currency note was Australia's only remaining banknote to still bear a picture of the monarch.
Why the decision was taken?
The country's central bank said that the decision to change the image was taken in consultation with the government, which supported the move. The bank said the move would honour “the culture and history of the First Australians. “The other side of the USD 5 banknote will continue to feature the Australian parliament," the bank said in a statement.
Opposition terms move as 'politically motivated'
However, the Opposition did not appreciate the move and termed it "politically motivated." The British monarch remains Australia's head of state, although these days that role is largely symbolic. Like many former British colonies, Australia is debating to what extent it should retain its constitutional ties to Britain.
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It should be mentioned here that Australia's central bank plans to consult with Indigenous groups in designing the USD 5 note, a process it expects will take several years before the new note goes public. The current USD 5 will continue to be issued until the new design is introduced and will remain legal tender even after the new bill goes into circulation.
(With inputs from AP)