Australians can expect King Charles III to appear in their wallets, purses and pockets within months, with confirmation that new coins will be introduced in 2023.
But whether it will automatically become the new face of the 5-dollar bill remains questionable.
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Traditionally, the reigning monarch appears on one side of Australia’s smallest banknote.
Ever since the polymeric $5 bill was introduced in the 1990s, it has been Queen Elizabeth II.
But Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Andrew Leigh said this week there was no guarantee he would move on to become the new head of state.
“The decision to put the Queen’s face on the $5 bill was about her personally and less about her status as a monarch,” Leigh said.
“So this transition is not automatic.
“It is a conversation that will take place in government, there is no rush.
“The priority now is to exchange the coins, which is a much larger operation.”
Australians are at odds over who should be the face of the $5 bill.
Some argue Queen Elizabeth II, who visited Australia 16 times during her reign, should stay.
Others say the honor should be given to a local icon.
Some suggested an Indigenous Australian, like tennis legend Evonne Goolagong, while others said Steve Irwin would be a good representative.
Acclaimed sitcom duo Kath and Kim and Home And Away, Ray Meagher have also been suggested as options.
The Australian Republic Movement, which has suspended its campaign for Australia’s move away from the monarchy, is expected to push for the head of state to be removed from the banknotes.
But for now, the late Queen will remain the face of the $5 bill.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese added it was not the time for the discussion.
“I’m talking about a funeral for Queen Elizabeth II that will take place next Monday,” he said.
“And I’m asked a question about a replacement for the $5 bill.
“I think this is a time when a little bit of respect is needed.
“And, you know, we will deal with these issues in an appropriate, orderly and respectful manner.”
However, whenever a decision is made, slips of paper with the Queen’s likeness will be circulating for some time.
The Reserve Bank of Australia said it would likely take “years”.
“The Reserve Bank of Australia would like to offer its heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family following the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” RBA said.
“There will be no immediate change to Australian banknotes. The $5 bills bearing the image of Her Majesty the Queen can still be used. They will not be withdrawn and should remain in circulation for years to come.
“Traditionally, the reigning monarch appears on the lowest denomination of the Australian banknote. The Reserve Bank will provide further updates in due course.”
Since the introduction of decimal currency in 1966, the Queen has also featured on around 15 billion coins.
Coins depicting King Charles III. will be distributed next year.
https://7news.com.au/entertainment/royal-family/australians-lobby-for-national-icons-including-steve-irwin-evonne-goolagong-to-become-new-face-of-5-note-c-8210462 Australians are campaigning for national icons like Steve Irwin and Evonne Goolagong to become the new face of the $5 bill