Banknote 'looks like vomit', say Australians

And the Queen does not look amused...

The Queen's portrait on the $5 note.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has revealed its new $5 note, complete with a portrait of the Queen - and Australians are not impressed.

The new, brightly coloured banknote has been compared with 'vomit' and 'a mid-80s primary school mural'. Even the Queen, say some, looks miserable and ashamed to be there.

The $5 bill will go into circulation on September 1. It is the first of a new range of notes that will include new security features, but have a similar design and colourway to existing banknotes.

"Each banknote in the new series will depict a different species of Australian wattle and a native bird within a number of the elements," says governor Glenn Stevens. "On the $5 banknote, these are the Prickly Moses wattle and the Eastern Spinebill."

Australians themselves aren't so sure. The wattle, for example, looks like 'dunny brushes', 'golden staph germs from a petrie dish' or 'anthrax spores', Twitter users say.

Meanwhile, there's also criticism of the portrait of the Queen. Many people say she looks too young.

"The Queen looks like she is contemplating how to get off that abomination of a bank note," suggests one Twitter user; "Not sure who is on the new Australia $5 note but it isn't the Queen. Really isn't. Masculinised Helen Mirren?" writes another.

The other side of the $5 note.

According to the bank, the lurid colouring is, quite reasonably, aimed at making life easier for the visually impared.

As for the pictures themselves, it says, "The designs are the culmination of a process of extensive consultation with subject-matter experts and the cash-handling industry, as well as qualitative research involving focus groups."

This may be part of the problem: committees aren't exactly known for their creative and artistic genius.

And tempers often run high when it comes to banknotes - not least when, in 2013, it was announced that Elizabeth Fry was to be replaced with Sir Winston Churchill on new £5 notes, meaning that no women other than the Queen would feature on any banknotes at all.

Despite death threats, feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez successfully campaigned for author Jane Austen to feature instead.

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