A brand-new $20 note will be introduced in Canberra, with the government announcing the currency will replace the $1 note.
The new $20 bills are the result of a $1 billion bond issue, the Australian dollar will have an initial value of $1.60, the first quarter of 2019 will see the value of the Australian currency rise to $1, up from $1 and the second quarter of 2020 to $2.60.
“Australia’s future is at stake,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
“This is a historic moment for our country.”
The Australian dollar rose in value after it rose to $US1.07, up $1 to $AU1.12.
The change to the currency was announced by Treasurer Scott Morrison in the lead up to the federal election.
“It’s about a decade since we started the process of transitioning from a paper currency to a digital currency,” he said.
“That process has already been accelerated by the government’s bond issue.”
Prime Minister Scott Abbott says he’s confident in the new notes.
“They are about the future of our nation,” he told the ABC’s Lateline program.
“And I’m confident they will be of use to our citizens and to Australians in the long term,” he added.
But many in Canberra’s banking community are concerned the new note will lead to a sharp rise in interest rates and other consequences.
“We’re not in a bubble, we’re not on a bubble,” one person said.
Others are more concerned about the risks the new bills pose.
“The Australian currency is a real, tangible thing, and I think it’s really important for us to know that it’s not,” another said.
Mr Morrison said he was confident the currency would be accepted in all corners of Australia, and that people could swap their notes for the new Australian dollar.
“I think this is a pretty strong signal that it has gone through the process and the process has shown it’s a very secure currency,” Mr Morrison said, before adding: “This is not going to change overnight.”
He added the government will also work with the Reserve Bank to ensure all Australians can use the new currency, as well as the bank’s own digital currencies.
The announcement is welcomed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which said the change will lead the value and inflation of the economy.
“In the past, currency changes were largely seen as being an indicator of consumer sentiment,” ABS deputy chief economist, Rob Wainwright, said.