Australia government has concluded plans to remove the British monarch from its banknotes, with no plans of replacing her successor on the new notes.
According to the Australian government, it would be replacing the late Queen Elizabeth II’s image on its $5 note, saying the new notes will come with a design honouring Indigenous culture, in the country.
The decision to leave her successor King Charles III off the $5 note means no monarch would remain on Australia’s paper currency.
Queen Elizabeth’s death on September 8 last year was marked by public mourning in Australia but some Indigenous groups also protested against the destructive impact of colonial Britain, calling for the abolition of the monarchy.
Australia is a constitutional monarchy, a democracy with Charles III as its head of state. A referendum proposing a switch to a republic was narrowly defeated in 1999.
The central bank said its decision was supported by the centre-left Labor government of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who favours an eventual move to an Australian republic.
The new banknote would take “a number of years” to be designed and printed, it said, with the existing $5 note remaining legal tender even after the new design is in people’s hands.
In addition, the RBA’s move was hailed by the nation’s republican movement, which noted that Indigenous people predated British settlement by 65,000 years.
“Australia believes in meritocracy so the idea that someone should be on our currency by birthright is irreconcilable, as is the notion that they should be our head of state by birthright,” said Australian Republic Movement chair Craig Foster.
“To think that an unelected king should be on our currency in place of First Nations leaders and elders and eminent Australians is no longer justifiable at a time of truth-telling, reconciliation and ultimately formal, cultural and intellectual independence.”
The Australian Monarchist League said the decision was “virtually neo-communism in action”.