King Charles III may not automatically replace the late Queen Elizabeth II on Australia’s $5 note.

Assistant Treasury Minister Andrew Leigh said the federal government had yet to make a decision on who should appear on the country’s lowest denomination bank note.

While the King will appear on the back of Australia’s coins, a decision on the $5 note won’t be made for a while yet.

“There’ll be a decision for the government, which will happen down the track, as we haven’t decided precisely what we’re doing with the $5 note at this stage,” Dr Leigh told ABC Radio on Tuesday.

“I don’t think there needs to be any particular rush on it, certainly there’s been a great deal of affection for Queen Elizabeth II in the community at the moment.”

Traditionally, the lowest denomination bank note carries the image of the monarch.

Coins bearing the profile of the King will go into circulation at some point in 2023.


Coins with the Queen on the back will still be legal tender.

“The back of every coin in Australia will change, and it’s a pretty historic change, I mean the Queen has been on the back of Australian coins since 1966 when decimal currency began,” Dr Leigh said.

“It’s a small cost in terms of the transition, the Mint are constantly updating its dyes.”

Australian coins will use a profile of the new monarch supplied by the UK Royal Mint.

With the transition to the new coins expected to take some time, coins with the Queen may continue to be minted which means coins with both monarchs are expected to co-mingle in circulation.

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