King Charles' representative left in the dark over $5 note snub

The Governor-General's Official Secretary in Australia learned about the decision to exclude King Charles III from the country's $5 bank note through a press release.

King Charles' representative left in the dark over $5 note snub
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The King’s representative in Australia heard that Charles would not feature on the $5 note after reading about it in the media, a Senate estimates hearing has been told.

Governor-General David Hurley's Official Secretary said he learned about the decision to snub King Charles at the same time as everyone else, via a Reserve Bank press release.

"First I became aware of the decision was the media release from the Reserve Bank," Mr Singer said.

He said it would be inappropriate to repeat the Governor-General’s reaction to reading the release. But he agreed that Mr Hurley "probably shared" his "surprise" that Government House was not informed before the public.

"I’m not here to answer for the Governor General’s reaction, but what I would say in general terms that he probably shared my surprise that we were only made aware of the decision as a consequence of reading a media statement," Singer said.

The RBA announced on February 2 that a portrait of King Charles III would not replace his late mother Queen Elizabeth II on Australia's $5 bank note.

The new design would instead honour the culture and history of Indigenous people.

Mr Singer said he wrote to Buckingham Palace when he heard the King Charles would not feature on Australia’s $5 note to make sure the palace "didn't wake up to the news without having been forewarned".

He refused to be drawn on whether he regarded the lack of communication from either the RBA or the government as a “lack of courtesy”

But he did say that he was "not aware of any discussion or consultation" with Government House in relation to the note's change in design

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  • By Avi Yemini

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