AUSTRALIA: The portrait of Queen Elizabeth on its A$5 banknote will be replaced by a new design that would honour the history of its indigenous culture, says the Reserve Bank of Australia, RBA.
Queen’s demise last year sprouted a lot of concern regarding the future of Australia’s constitutional monarchy
In the 1999 referendum, voters somewhat chose to maintain the British monarchy as the head of its state. The country’s centre-left Labour government requested a referendum to make changes in the constitution to include the status of the indigenous population in the document and recognise their hardships.
RBA would take into account the Indigenous people’s opinion on the design of the A$5 notes. However, the current note will continue to be issued as printing the new notes might take years.
Anthony Albanese, Australian Prime Minister, though a Republican, had said, following Queen’s death, that it was not a proper time to discuss the fate of monarchy in Australia. Peter Dutton, leader of the opposition Liberal party, said that the central bank’s decision was motivated politically.
According to Australian authorities following Queen’s death, the picture of King Charles III would not automatically be printed on the note.
The bank reported in a statement, “First Australians will be consulted throughout the creation of the $5 notes by the bank. It will take several years to design and print the new currency.”
“The existing $5 bill will still be printed during this transition. Even after the release of the new notes, it will still be functional,” it read further.
Lidia Thorpe, an opposition Green party lawmaker elated by the gesture, tweeted, “This is a massive win for the grassroots, First Nations people who have been fighting to decolonise this country.”
In light of the calls to acknowledge the indigenous group as the oldest civilisation in the world, Australia officially amended its national anthem to erase the reference to the country being “young and free.”
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