Australians are petitioning to put national icon Steve Irwin on the new $5 bill instead of the face of our new head of state, King Charles III.
Many Aussies have taken to Twitter to demand that it’s “time to replace Queen Elizabeth’s cash face with Steve Irwin,” with Vincent Wu and Kirby Miles launching two separate petitions in an effort to make it a reality.
According to Assistant Chancellor of the Exchequer Andrew Leigh, who spoke to reporters at the Royal Australian Mint on Sept. 12, King Charles III will not appear “automatically” on our smallest denomination note.
He said that while the new monarch will appear “as a matter of tradition” on our new coins, that is not the case for the $5 note – which has previously featured portraits of Sir Joseph Banks and Caroline Chisholm.
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“The decision to put the Queen’s face on the $5 bill was more about her personally than her status as a monarch, so the transition [to Charles on the note] is not automatic,” he said.
Queen Elizabeth II was first featured on the paper dollar bill in 1992 and also appeared on Australia’s first polymer $5 bill.
“The death of Queen Elizabeth II and the proclamation of King Charles III raises an important question about the future of Australia’s currency,” Miles said in his petition posted to the Australian Parliament House website.
“We propose to keep all existing $5 bills featuring Queen Elizabeth II in circulation and introduce a new $5 bill in honor of Australian zookeeper Steve Irwin.”
Mr Wu said there is no one “vital to Australian culture” than the crocodile hunter.
“Steve is loved by all and has become synonymous with the Australian values we hold dear,” he said.
“He embodied the spirit of friendship; he loved Australia’s wildlife and worked hard on conservation and education, but perhaps most importantly, he’s just a good guy.”