Next Generation Banknote Program

The new $5 banknote

The new generation $5 banknote - front view.

This image shows the basic design artwork for the signature side of the new $5 banknote. The white areas are clear windows.

The new generation $5 banknote - back view.

This image shows the basic design artwork for the serial number side of the new $5 banknote. The white areas are clear windows.

About the Designs

The Bank has released images of the new $5 banknote that will be issued into circulation from 1 September 2016. The images show the basic design artwork of each side of the banknote, which includes a distinctive top-to-bottom window.

Each banknote in the new series will depict a different species of Australian wattle and a native bird within a number of the elements. On the $5 banknote, these are the Prickly Moses wattle (Acacia verticillata subsp. ovoidea) and the Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris). The images and colours of the Eastern Spinebill in the clear window are security features and are not photo-realistic depictions of how the bird appears in the wild.

The portrait of the Queen on the new banknote has been redrawn from the original source photograph, which was commissioned by the Bank in 1984 and approved for use on the banknote by the Queen. Technological advances mean more detail can be achieved in the design and the portrait on the new banknote more closely resembles the original photograph.

The building in the top-to-bottom window is the Federation Pavilion, which was opened in Centennial Park on 1 January 1901 and was the site of the official ceremony that marked the proclamation of the Commonwealth of Australia.

There is a new ‘tactile’ feature to help the vision-impaired community distinguish between different denominations of banknotes. The tactile feature will be in addition to the existing features present on our current banknote series – bright colours, large contrasting numerals and size differentials.

The new banknotes will have a combination of innovative security features that have not previously been used on an Australian banknote. Detailed information on the new design and security features (which will be common to all banknotes in the new series) and how they work will be part of a public awareness campaign over coming months.

The new $5 banknotes are in production.

When will new banknotes be issued?

  • The first banknote, the new $5, will be issued from 1 September 2016.
  • The other denominations will be progressively introduced in following years.

What's changing?

  • Security features will be upgraded to ensure Australia's banknotes remain secure into the future.
  • Designs will change to accommodate new security features.
  • A new tactile feature will be added to assist the vision-impaired community.

What's staying the same?

  • The colour palette, people and sizes will be retained.
  • Banknotes will continue to be printed on plastic.

What happens to my existing banknotes?

  • All banknotes issued by the Reserve Bank remain legal tender and can continue to be used.

Upgrading Australia's Banknotes

A core function of the Reserve Bank is to maintain public confidence in Australia's banknotes. Australia has one of the safest and most secure currencies in the world and has experienced relatively low levels of counterfeiting for many years. To ensure that this continues to be the case, the Reserve Bank researches anti-counterfeit technologies and developments in banknote design.The results of this work have culminated in a project to upgrade the security of Australia's banknotes.

Considerable work has already been undertaken on this project, including the development and review of banknote designs and production trials of new security features. It is important that the new features are durable, effectively incorporated into the banknote designs and rigorously tested. One aspect of this process is that the Reserve Bank has consulted extensively with key users of banknotes, including banknote equipment manufacturers, retail organisations, financial institutions and the vision-impaired community. Advice has also been sought through a number of channels during the development process, including an advisory panel, subject-matter experts and focus groups comprising members of the public. These ongoing consultations provide an opportunity to ensure that the new banknotes meet the needs of the community.

For more information

12 April 2016
Media Release – Next Generation of Banknotes: $5 Banknote Design Reveal

21 March 2016
Media Release – Next Generation of Banknotes: Plans for the $5 Design Reveal

11 February 2016
Media Release – Next Generation of Banknotes: Issuance Date for the New $5 Banknote

17 September 2015
Bulletin article – Banknote Stakeholder Engagement
Alternative download as PDF (201KB)

19 March 2015
Bulletin article – Australian Banknotes: Assisting People with Vision Impairment
Alternative download as PDF (1.6MB)

13 February 2015
Media Release – Next Generation Banknotes: Additional Feature for the Vision Impaired

20 March 2014
Bulletin article – The Next Generation Banknote Project
Alternative download as PDF (3.3MB)

27 September 2012
Media Release – Upgrading Australia's Banknotes