King Charles III Axed From Aussie Banknote: See What Led To The Removal of The British Monarch.
Australia’s central bank announced on Thursday that it will remove the image of King Charles III from its banknotes and replace it with an Indigenous design.
This change will be applied to the $5 bill, which was the only banknote in Australia that still depicted the British monarch.
The decision was made after consultation with the Labor Party government, which supported the change. The bank plans to consult with Indigenous groups to design the new $5 bill, a process that is expected to take several years. The current $5 bill will remain in circulation until the new design is introduced and will remain legal tender even after the new bill goes into circulation.
While the British monarch remains Australia’s head of state, the role is largely symbolic. There has been an ongoing debate in Australia about the extent to which it should retain its constitutional ties to Britain. King Charles III’s image will still be seen on coins later this year. The British currency has already begun transitioning to the new monarch, with the release of the 50 pence coin in December.
Opponents have claimed that the removal of King Charles III from the banknotes is politically motivated, with opposition leader Peter Dutton likening it to changing the date of the national day, Australia Day. The center-left Labor Party is seeking to make Australia a republic with an Australian citizen as head of state instead of the British monarch. After Labor won elections in May last year, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese appointed Matt Thistlethwaite as assistant minister for the republic. Thistlethwaite has stated that there will be no change in the queen’s lifetime.
A 1999 referendum proposed by a Labor government maintained the British monarch as Australia’s head of state. After the queen’s death, the government committed to holding a referendum this year to acknowledge Indigenous people in the constitution. The government has dismissed adding a republic question to the referendum as an unwanted distraction from its Indigenous priority.
According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, there were 208 million $5 notes in circulation worth AUD 1.04 billion ($734 million) this week. The smallest denomination
in Australia, the $5 bill, will now feature an Indigenous design instead of the image of King Charles III. The decision to remove the British monarch from the $5 bill was made after consultation with the Labor Party government and with plans to involve Indigenous groups in the design process.
The current $5 bill will remain in circulation until the new design is introduced and will continue to be legal tender even after the new bill goes into circulation. The change has been met with opposition, with some claiming it to be politically motivated.
Australia remains a constitutional monarchy, with the British monarch as its head of state, but there is an ongoing debate about the extent of Australia’s ties to Britain. The Labor Party has expressed a desire to make Australia a republic, but no change is expected during the queen’s lifetime. A referendum is planned this year to acknowledge Indigenous people in the constitution, but adding a republic question has been dismissed as a distraction.
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