Australia is removing the British monarch from the 5 dollar bill
King Charles III will not succeed Queen Elizabeth II on the A$5 note, instead will be redesigned to honor Indigenous Australians and their history.
The decision, announced by the country’s central bank on Thursday, has rekindled the debate over republicanism in Australia, with critics calling it a “wake-up nonsense” and Others praised the change. Although Australia is independent, it is still a constitutional monarchy with British sovereignty as head of state.
“The $5 bill is more about our history, our heritage and our country, and I see that as a good thing,” Jim Chalmers, treasurer of Australia, said at a news conference announcing the decision. determined. The Indigenous element will appear in the design of the note, he added, rather than being the work of a particular Aboriginal designer.
According to the bank, it will take several years to design and print. The $5 bill (worth around $3.57) is Australia’s only banknote to feature a monarch, and earlier notes feature examples of ancient and contemporary Aboriginal art. The government had announced a few weeks earlier that Charles would replace Elizabeth with an Australian coin.
For critics, the monarch’s absence from the bill is further evidence of the government’s stealthy attempt to impose a republican regime on Australia.
Peter Dutton, Australia’s right-wing opposition leader, told an Australian talk radio: “There’s no doubt it’s directed by the government. “It’s another attack on our systems, on our society and our institutions,” he added, describing it as more “awakened nonsense” that must be “above the majority”. silence” accepted.
Philip Benwell, leader of the Australian Federation of Monarchs, was even harsher in his criticism.
“It’s almost as if new communism is at work,” he said in a statement describing Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as someone who “worked hard to overthrow” King Charles III.
Following last year’s election, Mr Albanese appointed the republic’s first minister, sparking speculation that a referendum on the matter would follow.
Mr Chalmers, the treasurer, denied these allegations.
“It’s no secret that I would like to see Australia become a republic, but this is a simpler, shorter-term change,” he said. “We have an opportunity here to recognize the monarch on our coin, recognize the first Australians on the $5 bill and I think that strikes a good balance.”
Surveys show that fewer Australians support the status quo regarding the monarchy than in the past. In a recent poll, 31 percent said they supported maintaining the monarchy, down from 54 percent in the most recent official referendum on the issue, held in 1999. (Australia full independence from Britain in 1942.)
The Australian Republican Movement welcomed the new design and recognized Indigenous history. The head of the organization, Craig Foster, former captain of the Australian football team added: “Australia believes in meritocracy, so the idea is that someone should benefit from the currency. Ours by inheritance is irreconcilable, as is the idea that they should be our head of state by inheritance.
Dixon Patten, an Indigenous Australian designer and artist based in Melbourne, said the new bill hoped to spur more conversation about modern Australia’s values.
Ideally, he said, he’d like to see pictures of native flora and fauna, or scenes of “country,” an indigenous phrase referring to Australia’s lands and waterways, in the flyer. money.
He added: “Everybody, when they come to this beautiful country, are contemporary land custodians.