An Indigenous design, rather than King Charles, will replace Queen Elizabeth II on the Australian $5 note, the Reserve Bank announced this week.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers, who confirmed that the government had consulted with the Reserve Bank about the decision, said it was the “right decision”.
The new banknote, with the Reserve Bank said would “honour the culture and history of the First Australians” will take a number of years to be designed and printed after consultation with Indigenous elders.
“There’s plenty of time to consider and consult on the design that best honours First Australians,” Chalmers said.
“It’s also important to remember the monarch will continue to be on our coins. It is an opportunity to strike a good balance here.”
The treasurer added that it was “no secret that I would like to see Australia become a republic”.
But Opposition Leader Peter Dutton slammed the change as “woke nonsense”, warning that it was an “attack on our systems and institutions”.
Dutton, who is yet to make clear his position on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament which would insert race into the country’s Constitution, said: “I know the silent majority don’t agree with a lot of the woke nonsense that goes on.
“We’ve got to hear more from those people online and business leaders have to speak up against it as well.”