Australia's New $5 Note Design Will Help The Vision Impaired

The Reserve Bank announced back in February that a new $5 note would be out from 1 September 2016. Today, it has revealed that we'll get to see the new design on 12 April.

The note will be the same basic colours, size and "include the same people" so it looks like we shouldn't be expecting a radical redesign in the looks department. What will be new is a 'tactile' feature to help the vision-impaired distinguish between different denominations of banknotes.

Image: Shutterstock

Update: The design for the new $5 note has been released — see it below.

The first $5 note was issued in 1967 and featured humanitarian and women's immigrant welfare campaigner Caroline Chisholm on one side, and Botanist Sir Joseph Banks on the other.

A commemorative version for the Centenary of Federation was released in 2001. The note featured journalist, politician and suffragette Catherine Helen Spence as well as politician Sir Henry Parkes.

But with that one exception, we've had Queen Elizabeth II on the front and Parliament House on the back of our fiver since the mid nineties.

"The Bank has been working closely with a range of stakeholders over the past seven years to ensure that when the new series of banknotes are issued, the public can use them effectively in their day-to-day lives," the RBA said in a statement.

"Important aspects of a smooth transition to the new banknotes are making sure that machines that take or dispense banknotes have been upgraded and that the new banknotes are available across the country. As part of this process, the Bank intends to publish images of the new $5 banknote on 12 April."

The reveal will be followed later in the year by a public awareness campaign to make sure we can all identify the new note, and also how to use the new security features — which are yet to be detailed.

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