Australians would rather have Steve Irwin than the royal family featured on their currency
The issue over whose famous features should be on the nation’s currency has flared up again as a result of two passionate fans lobbying in vain to get one Australian icon into our wallets.
Vincent Wu and Kirby Miles, the primary petitioners, have filed two separate petitions to have “crocodile hunter” Steve Irwin featured on the $5 bill.
They hope to have a famous Australian naturalist, wildlife expert, and TV personality take the role of King Charles III on the lowest denomination note.
The dreams of the public may be realized after Assistant Treasury Minister Andrew Leigh said that the future monarch may not be shown on new coins or on the $5 bill like his mother was.
Australian coins will feature the king “as a matter of custom,” Mr. Leigh told reporters in Canberra earlier this month. Nonetheless, the nation’s pink and purple note is an exception to this rule.
As he put it, “the transition [to Charles on the note] is not automatic” since “the decision to include the Queen’s face on the $5 note was about her personally rather than about her status as the monarch.”
This would imply that suggestions for the next subject of the $5 bill can be made by anyone.
According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, the first printing of the $5 paper bank note featuring Sir Joseph Banks and Caroline Chisholm occurred in 1967. (RBA).
The first polymer five dollar bill, depicting the monarch, was issued in 1992. In 2016, it was updated with the same image but new safety features.
Australians celebrated the 100th anniversary of Federation in 2001 with the release of a new series of $5 notes featuring Sir Henry Parkes and Catherine Helen Spence, known as the Federation banknotes.
A total of 42 people have signed Mr. Wu’s and Mr. Miles’ petitions, which may be found on the website of the Australian Parliament House.
Mr. Miles argues in his petition that the future of Australian money has become uncertain with the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the proclamation of King Charles III.
We propose issuing a new $5 note honoring Australian zoologist Steve Irwin and retaining all existing $5 notes featuring Queen Elizabeth II in circulation.
As Mr. Wu puts it, “We propose keeping all existing $5 notes featuring Queen Elizabeth II in circulation and introducing a new $5 note honouring Australian zookeeper Steve Irwin.”
Aside from being a dedicated conservationist and educator of Australia’s native species, “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.” as one admirer put it.
Irwin died in September 2006 after being pricked in the chest by a stingray barb while filming at the Great Barrier Reef.