New $50 notes to hit streets in mid-October

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Get your wallets ready for a fresh batch of the folding stuff – Australia’s new $50 notes are rolling out from 18 October 2018, as part of a strategy to foil counterfeiters. 

Much like the $5 and $10 note before it, the $50 note’s update includes several new security features and dynamic designs, including:

  • a top-to-bottom clear window
  • a reversing number
  • a flying bird
  • a three-dimensional open book with colourful lines.
  • a patch with a rolling colour effect
  • microprint featuring excerpts of David Unaipon’s book Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines and Edith Cowan’s maiden speech to Western Australian parliament
  • tactile elements for vision-impaired Australians

According to the RBA, the $50 note is Australia’s most widely circulated banknote, and the primary denomination used by ATMs.

$50 note 2

The circulation date for the new notes was announced by Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor, Dr Philip Lowe, at the recent Reserve Bank board dinner in Perth, who added that there are 1.6 billion individual banknotes currently on issue, which is enough for around 65 notes for each of Australia’s 25 million people.

“Despite the growth of tap-and-go and other forms of electronic payments, the value of notes on issue as a share of GDP is the highest in more than five decades. This highlights the continued importance of banknotes as a store of value as well as a payment mechanism.”

Dr Lowe also noted in his speech that the quote featured on the $50 note from Edith Cowan, the first woman member of an Australian parliament, remains just as relevant as it was in 1921.

I stand here to-day in the unique position of being the first woman in an Australian Parliament… If men and women can work for the same state side by side and represent all the different sections of the community… I cannot doubt that we should do very much better work in the community than was ever done before.Edith Cowan

While the new $50 notes will enter circulation from 18 October, it may take some time for the banknotes to become widely available. Meanwhile, the previously issued notes will remain legal tender.


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