Britain relieved Australia omits King Charles from new $5 banknote, says High Commissioner

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Britain’s high commissioner to Australia, Vicki Treadell, says Britain is “relieved” at the prospect of King Charles III not being on the $5 note.

The Reserve Bank announced on Thursday that it will not replace the image of Queen Elizabeth on the $5 note with King Charles, but an image that honors the culture and history of First Australians.

Treadell said the move had not affected the UK “at all”.

“It’s up to Australia to decide what it wants on its coins, and on its notes,” she told ABC radio on Friday.

“You are a domain in your own right.”

The RBA said it had consulted with the federal government on the decision, and had the government’s support.

Related: King Charles will be replaced by indigenous history in Australia’s new $5 banknote

The bank will consult with First Australians when designing the $5 banknote, which will take several years to design and print.

Indigenous Australians and designs have appeared on Australian currencies since the introduction of decimal currency in 1966, and the queen has appeared on the nation’s notes since 1923.

The first $1 note, designed by Gordon Andrews, featured images of Native American bark painting paintings and rock carvings by artist David Malangi Daymirringu.

After the $1 note was withdrawn from circulation, it was not until the introduction of the polymer $10 note in 1988 that the note featured Native designs again.

The queen appeared on the $1 paper note from the tenth until it was discontinued. The current $5 design, updated in 2016, is the last Australian banknote design to feature the monarch – with Canberra’s Parliament House on the reverse. Dame Mary Gilmore and Banjo Paterson have the $10, Mary Reibey and Rev John Flynn have the $20, David Unaipon and Edith Cowan have the $50, and Sir John Monash and Dame Nellie Melba have the $100.

Treadell said Britain was “relieved” by Australia’s move to remove the ruling monarch.

“We have our own position and our own relationship with the royal family, and we wouldn’t dream of imposing views or indeed having or commenting on what Australia chooses to do in their own right. “

It comes after opposition leader Peter Dutton claimed the prime minister, Anthony Albanese, “owns” the move, which he said was “woke nonsense”.

“I think it’s another attack on our systems, our society and our institutions,” he told 2GB radio on Thursday.

“There is no question about this. It is led by the government … He [Albanese] it would be central to the decision-making.”

Dutton said the “silent majority” of Australians disagreed with the decision.

Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy accused the government of a “relentless effort” to clear the path to republicanism.

“It won’t do them any good. Australians will see through this. The Scottish government is behaving as if the people have already decided to turn Australia into a republic of politicians.”

Dean Smith, a Liberal senator and staunch monarchist, said the decision was disappointing and a “missed opportunity”.

“A design that would embrace our new king and respect Australia’s indigenous heritage and culture would be a better and more unified approach,” he said in a statement.

“This decision misses a unique opportunity for both the RBA and Anthony Albanese to merge these two important aspects of the Australian story.”

“Although not entirely expected, the break with this long tradition will come as a disappointment to many Australians, who have never known anything different.”

Australian treasurer Jim Chalmers said the change to the $5 note was the right decision.

“This is a good opportunity to strike a good balance between the monarch on the coins and the First Nations design on the five,” he said. “It is important to remember that the monarch will still be on our coins.”

Voters in a Sydney Morning Herald survey in October said they would prefer an Australian on the $5 note, with only 34% saying King Charles was their choice.

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