Australia's national bank said Thursday that its new $5 bill, which currently features a portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II, will not feature King Charles III but rather an image honoring "the culture and history of the First Australians." That means none of Australia's paper (well, polymer) currency will depict Britain's monarchs. "The other side of the $5 banknote will continue to feature the Australian parliament," the Reserve Bank of Australia said in a statement.
The central bank said the change was supported by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Albanese, who represents the center-left Labor party, "supports an eventual move to an Australian republic," AFP notes. Britain's monarch, who remains Australia's head of state, "will still be on the coins, but the $5 note will say more about our history and our heritage and our country, and I see that as a good thing," Treasurer Jim Chalmer told reporters in Melbourne.
Conservative opposition leader Peter Dutton criticized the change as anti-Australian and blamed Albanese. "I know the silent majority don't agree with a lot of the woke nonsense that goes on but we've got to hear more from those people online," he told 2GB Radio.
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The new $5 note won't be released for "a number of year," the central bank said, and the $5 bill with Queen Elizabeth on the front will continue being issued until then and remain legal tender after the new notes are in circulation.
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