Australia’s new $5 bank note, the first in its Next Generation
Banknote Program, will enter circulation on Sept. 1 according to an
April 12 statement by the nation’s Reserve Bank.
Based on its plastic material, size, color and subjects, the new
note bears an intended resemblance to its predecessor that is meant to
aid recognition and ease disruption. New features include a tactile
one to help the vision impaired, and security enhancements including a
distinctive top to bottom window and the Omron rings (a pattern of
small circles, usually yellow in color).
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Also new is that each note in the new series will depict a different
species of Australian wattle and a native bird within the design
elements. On the $5 note, these are the prickly moses wattle (Acacia verticillata
subspecies ovoidea) and the eastern spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris).
Not all Australians look favorably on the new issue. A columnist for
the Sydney Morning Herald called it cringeworthy, wondering first why
Queen Elizabeth II is honored on the face when there are plenty of
deserving Australians, and second why it then was decided to touch up
her photo so she looks 30 years younger than she actually is. The same
columnist also took issue with the wattles, calling them “yellow witchetty grubs” crawling up the page in
front of the queen.