Australians are petitioning to put national icon Steve Irwin on the new $5 note instead of the face of our new head of state King Charles III.
Many Aussies have taken to Twitter demanding that it’s “time to replace Queen Elizabeth’s face on cash with Steve Irwin,” with Vincent Wu and Kirby Miles launching two separate petitions in a bid to make it reality.
According to Assistant Treasury Minister Andrew Leigh who spoke to reporters while at the Royal Australian Mint on September 12, King Charles III will not “automatically” appear on our smallest denomination note.
He said while the new monarch will feature on our new coins “as a matter of tradition” that isn’t the case for the $5 note – which has previously featured portraits of Sir Joseph Banks and Caroline Chisholm.
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“The decision to include the Queen’s face on the $5 note was about her personally rather than about her status as the monarch so that transition [to Charles on the note] isn’t automatic,” he said.
Queen Elizabeth II was first featured on the $ paper ban note in 1992 and also appeared on Australia’s first $5 polymer note.
“The death of Queen Elizabeth II and the proclamation of King Charles III raises an important question about the future of Australian currency,” Mr Miles said on his petition which is listed on the Australian Parliament House website.
“We propose keeping all existing $5 notes featuring Queen Elizabeth II in circulation and introducing a new $5 note honouring Australian zookeeper Steve Irwin.”
Mr Wu said there is no one “more vital to Australian culture” than the Crocodile Hunter.
“Steve is beloved by all and has become synonymous with the Australian values we hold so dearly,” he said.
“He epitomised the spirit of mateship; he deeply loved the Australian wildlife, working hard towards conservation and education but perhaps most importantly he’s just a good bloke.”
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