Australia’s central bank announced Thursday it will be replacing the image on the $5 bill with an Indigenous design instead of a portrait of King Charles III following the transition from currency featuring the late Queen Elizabeth II.
The decision will completely remove the firm from the country’s banknotes as the $5 bill was the last remaining bill featuring the monarch, though the king will still be featured on coins.
The bank said the move was made after consulting the government, which was in support of the change, according to the Associated Press.
Opponents believe the decision is politically motivated.
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Australia’s Reserve Bank said the new $5 bill will “honor the culture and history of the First Australians” while the other side of the note will continue to feature the Australian parliament.
“The Bank will consult with First Australians in designing the $5 banknote. The new banknote will take a number of years to be designed and printed. In the meantime, the current $5 banknote will continue to be issued. It will be able to be used even after the new banknote is issued,” the bank said in a statement.
Treasurer of Australia Jim Chalmers told reporters in Melbourne the change is an opportunity to strike a good balance between the monarchy and Australia’s heritage.
“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 said.
The Royal Australian Mint, the country’s coin manufacturer, has not yet released the design for the coins featuring the king’s portrait.
Though the British monarch remains Australia’s head of state for now, the country has been in debate over the decision to cut its constitutional ties to Britain.
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In comments to 2GB Radio, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton compared the decision to the push to change the date of Australia Day, a national holiday celebrated annually on Jan. 26.
“There’s obviously significant attacks on Australia Day, people want to change that. There’ll then be an attack on the national anthem, the flag, the name of Australia as we’re seeing in other parts of the world,” Dutton said.
He added the “silent majority” in Australia does not agree with the “woke nonsense” going on and encouraged those people to speak up against the “attacks on our systems, on our society and our institutions.”
Dutton also accused Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of playing a role in the decision for King Charles III to not replace Queen Elizabeth II on the banknote, urging him to “own up to it.”
FOX Business has reached out to the prime minister’s team for comment on the accusations.
One Australian dollar is worth about 71 cents in U.S. currency.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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