New Indigenous design will replace previous portrait of late Queen Elizabeth II to honour "culture and history of First Australians," says Australia's Reserve Bank.
Australia's central bank has announced it will erase the British monarch from its banknotes, replacing the late Queen Elizabeth II's image on its $5 note with a design honouring Indigenous culture.
The decision to leave the late queen's successor Charles III off the $5 note means no Britain-based monarch will remain on Australia's paper currency — a move hailed by the nation's republican movement, which noted Indigenous people predated British settlement by 65,000 years.
"The other side of the $5 banknote will continue to feature the Australian parliament," the bank said in a statement.
The $5 bill is Australia's only bank note to feature the monarch.
The bank said the decision followed consultation with the government, which supported the change.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers weighed in on the decision, saying the change was an "opportunity to strike a good balance."
"The monarch 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," he told reporters in Melbourne.
We have issued a media release: New $5 Banknote Design - https://t.co/svBBRzRNcM pic.twitter.com/VNokKhCF4p— Reserve Bank of Australia (@RBAInfo) February 1, 2023
Opposition cites 'woke nonsense'
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton likened the move to changing the date of the national day, Australia Day.
"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.
Dutton said Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was central to the decision for the king not to appear on the note, urging him to "own up to it."
The bank plans to consult with Indigenous groups in designing the $5 note and expects years before it goes public.
The current $5 will continue to be issued until the new design is introduced and will remain legal tender.
The face of King Charles III is expected to be seen on Australian coins later this year.