In a move that spells the phasing out of the British monarchy on its currency notes, Australia has announced that its new $5 bill will not feature an image of King Charles III.
Australia’s Reserve Bank announced on Wednesday that a new design celebrating Indigenous culture will replace the previous portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
The bank said that the decision is aimed at honouring “the culture and history of the First Australians”.
“The other side of the $5 banknote will continue to feature the Australian parliament,” the bank’s statement said.
While the $5 bill is currently Australia’s only banknote to feature a member of the British monarchy, King Charles is still expected to appear on coins.
“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,” treasurer Jim Chalmers told reporters.
He said that the decision followed consultations with the government, which supported the change and said it provided an “opportunity to strike a good balance”.
The current $5 will continue to be issued until the new design is introduced and will remain legal tender.
Opposition leader Peter Dutton said the move was an “attack on society” and “woke nonsense”.
“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 was quoted as saying to 2GB Radio.
He added that prime minister Anthony Albanese should “own up to it” as he was central to the decision for the King not to appear on the note.
The last major change to the five-dollar note was made on 1 September 2016, reported 9news.com.au.
It featured an image of Queen Elizabeth II next to Australian yellow wattle plants, with Parliament House on the other side.
Additional reporting by agencies