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Reserve Bank Amendment Bill 1992 [Private Member's Bill]
House: House of Representatives Presented by: Hon. G. Scholes, M.P.
Purpose To allow the Treasurer, subject to disallowance by Parliament, to determine the design and dimensions of currency notes.
Background Under the Reserve Bank Act 1959, the Reserve Bank is responsible for the issue, re- issue and cancellation of Australian currency notes. On 7 July 1992, a new $5.00 note was issued. The new note was significant in two respects. Firstly, the new note was the first of a proposed series which combined plastic note technology with security features. Secondly, the new note features the face of the Queen in place of the social welfare pioneer, Caroline Chisholm.
The removal of the image of Caroline Chisholm has been subject to considerable criticism. Political criticsm of the removal culminated in a bi- partisan motion passed by the House of Representatives on 25 June 1992. The motion proposed: "That this House: (1) expresses its concern at the decision of the Reserve Bank Board to remove the image of Caroline Chisholm from the design of the proposed new $5 note; and (2) recommends that this decision be rescinded." 1
Political debate on the new $5.00 note centred on the appropriateness of depicting the Queen on Australian notes, and the role of the Bank in approving the design of notes. With respect to the latter debate, most criticism/concern has centred on the unfettered power of the Bank to determine the design of notes and whether the Bank is the appropriate body to determine note design. This Bill is an expression of that concern.
Main Provisions The effect of clause 3 will be to allow the Treasurer, subject to disallowance by Parliament, to determine the design and dimensions of currency notes.
References 1. House of Representatives, Daily Hansard, 25 July 1992, p. 4036.
Bills Digest Service 6 October 1992 Parliamentary Research Service
This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.
Commonwealth of Australia 1992.
Reserve Bank Amendment Bill 1992Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Parliamentary Library, other than by Members of the Australian Parliament in the course of their official duties.
Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 1992.