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Calls for Steve Irwin to feature on Australian money as his family jets into Brisbane Airport

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The family of Steve Irwin has been pictured for the first time since there were calls for the late Crocodile Hunter to be featured on Australian money following the death of the Queen.

New cash and coins will be printed bearing the face of King Charles III now he is head of state – but some Aussies believe that Irwin, who died in 2006 at the age of 44, is more deserving of being on the national currency.

As support for the proposal grows, the wildlife conservationist’s widow Terri Irwin, daughter Bindi and son-in-law Chandler Powell were spotted jetting into Brisbane Airport on Monday following their annual pilgrimage to the Steve Irwin Reserve, near Weipa in Far North Queensland.

The family of Steve Irwin has been pictured for the first time since there were calls for the late Crocodile Hunter to be featured on Australian money following the death of the Queen. (Pictured from left: Bindi Irwin, Chandler Powell, an airline staff member, and Terri Irwin)

Bindi, 24, dressed casually in a black T-shirt with an elephant print, which she teamed with jeans, tan sneakers and a camo-green cap.

Her husband Chandler, 25, a former professional wakeboarder, wore a black T-shirt and beige pants as he loaded the family’s luggage into a waiting car at the airport.

Family matriarch Terri, 58, wore Australia Zoo’s famous khaki uniform and swept her hair into her signature ponytail.

Bindi, 24, dressed casually in a black T-shirt with an elephant print, which she teamed with jeans, tan sneakers and a camo-green cap. (Pictured at Brisbane Airport on Monday)

Bindi, 24, dressed casually in a black T-shirt with an elephant print, which she teamed with jeans, tan sneakers and a camo-green cap. (Pictured at Brisbane Airport on Monday)

Bindi laughed at something the airline staff member said as her husband handled the luggage

Bindi laughed at something the airline staff member said as her husband handled the luggage

The couple, who are parents to one-year-old daughter Grace, waved goodbye to airport staff

The couple, who are parents to one-year-old daughter Grace, waved goodbye to airport staff

It comes as some Aussies call for the late national icon Steve Irwin to be impressed on the $5 note instead of King Charles III in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death.

Her Royal Highness died aged 96 on Thursday, sparking a wave of mourning worldwide as Commonwealth nations honour Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

Her death after 70 years on the throne heralds a raft of changes that will come into place in Australia, including the introduction of bank notes and coins bearing the new king’s face.

Her husband Chandler, 25, a former professional wakeboarder, wore a black T-shirt and beige pants as he loaded the family's luggage into a waiting car at the airport

Her husband Chandler, 25, a former professional wakeboarder, wore a black T-shirt and beige pants as he loaded the family’s luggage into a waiting car at the airport

Family matriarch Terri, 58, (left) wore Australia Zoo's famous khaki uniform and swept her hair into her signature ponytail

Family matriarch Terri, 58, (left) wore Australia Zoo’s famous khaki uniform and swept her hair into her signature ponytail

New cash and coins will be printed bearing the face of King Charles III now he is head of state - but some Aussies believe that Irwin is more deserving of being on the national currency

New cash and coins will be printed bearing the face of King Charles III now he is head of state – but some Aussies believe that Irwin is more deserving of being on the national currency

Steve Irwin, known to millions around the world as 'the Crocodile Hunter', died in September 2006 after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming a wildlife documentary

Steve Irwin, known to millions around the world as ‘the Crocodile Hunter’, died in September 2006 after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming a wildlife documentary 

As support for the proposal grows, the conservationist's widow Terri, daughter Bindi and son-in-law Chandler were spotted jetting into Brisbane Airport on Monday following their annual pilgrimage to the Steve Irwin Reserve, near Weipa in Far North Queensland

As support for the proposal grows, the conservationist’s widow Terri, daughter Bindi and son-in-law Chandler were spotted jetting into Brisbane Airport on Monday following their annual pilgrimage to the Steve Irwin Reserve, near Weipa in Far North Queensland

Chandler helped a hi-vis-clad airline employee load the family's baggage into a waiting car

Chandler helped a hi-vis-clad airline employee load the family’s baggage into a waiting car

But some Aussies have flocked to social media to demand other famous Australians instead be memorialised on the country’s legal tender when the printing press kicks into gear.

‘Time to replace Queen Elizabeth’s face on cash with Steve Irwin or Heath Ledger, I reckon,’ one woman tweeted.

Another said: ‘Can we get a petition to get Steve Irwin’s face on money in place of the queen going? It’s what we all want.’

‘Steve Irwin deserves our highest form of currency,’ someone else said. ‘The $5 note will explode in value if we put him on that note.’

King Charles III (pictured on September 9) will be printed on Australia's $5 note and on the nation's coins as he ascends the throne

King Charles III (pictured on September 9) will be printed on Australia’s $5 note and on the nation’s coins as he ascends the throne 

However, other Aussies have offered alternative proposals, ranging from fictional characters to native animals, and even classic foods.

In a post on Reddit titled ‘RIP Queen Betty’, one man asked fellow Aussies for nominees to replace her Majesty on the $5 note, generating a flood of suggestions.

‘Alright… now for the important s**t,’ he said. ‘Who we gonna put on all our money? Because I can’t see that Charles on there.

‘Maybe Steve Irwin, or Russell Coight? Throw us some ideas.’

Some Aussies want Steve 'the Crocodile Hunter' Irwin to be inscribed on the $5 note instead of the new king. (Pictured is a mock-up of a $5 note with Irwin's face on it)

Some Aussies want Steve ‘the Crocodile Hunter’ Irwin to be inscribed on the $5 note instead of the new king. (Pictured is a mock-up of a $5 note with Irwin’s face on it)

One person put forth celebrated Australian sitcom characters Kath & Kim, while one social media user advocated for Alf Stewart from soap opera Neighbours.

Another proposed it should be inscribed with an Ibis, a native Australian bird known as the ‘bin chicken’.

‘Considering the cultural history of Straya taking the p**s out of itself, I completely support putting bin chickens on coins,’ they said. 

Steve Irwin, known to millions around the world as ‘the Crocodile Hunter’, died in September 2006 after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming a wildlife documentary.

Someone else put forth comedian Hamish Blake, while another recommended TV personality Daryl Sommers.  

Other suggestions included a ‘pavlova’, ‘lamington’, ‘Bunnings snag’ or the State of Origin maroons jersey.

However, Australians will be waiting a while for new $5 banknotes showing an image of King Charles III, with the central bank noting there will be ‘no immediate change to Australian banknotes’.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has confirmed King Charles III is expected to feature on a new $5 note.

‘The reigning monarch has traditionally appeared on the lowest denomination of Australian banknote,’ the RBA said.

However, the $5 banknotes featuring Queen Elizabeth II will also remain in circulation and will not be withdrawn.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has confirmed King Charles III is expected to feature on a new $5 note, but said Queen Elizabeth II bank notes (pictured) will not be withdrawn

The Reserve Bank of Australia has confirmed King Charles III is expected to feature on a new $5 note, but said Queen Elizabeth II bank notes (pictured) will not be withdrawn

The central bank, which manages the Australian currency and monetary policy said there would be further updates on currency changes to come.

The Australian coins of the future are likely to feature the head of King Charles III facing the opposite way to his late mother’s.

They will circulate alongside each other in a sort of mother-and-son currency double act.

A west-facing Charles III would continue a royal tradition, said to have started under Charles II from 1660, where the new monarch faces the opposite direction to their predecessor in their profile portrait on coins.

Since her coronation in 1953, six likenesses of Queen Elizabeth II have appeared on the obverse side of Australian coins, the last of them struck in 2018 and all facing right.

The only exception to the ‘about face’ convention was the coinage of Edward VIII, who insisted on his profile facing left.

‘It is not clear whether this was an expression of rebellion against convention, or vanity, to show what he regarded as his better profile, containing his hair parting,’ according to John Richardson of Britain’s Open University.

Those involved in the lengthy and complex processes of producing Australia’s currency won’t say how quickly the image of King Charles might appear.

While the Australian Mint produces the nation’s coins, responsibility for all aspects of the production and issue of Australian banknotes rests with the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Australia has joined much of the world in mourning Queen Elizabeth II, as her death prompts the first change in head of state in more than seven decades. (Pictured here receiving flowers from schoolchildren waving flags after Commonwealth Day Service in Sydney in March 2006)

Australia has joined much of the world in mourning Queen Elizabeth II, as her death prompts the first change in head of state in more than seven decades. She is pictured receiving flowers from schoolchildren waving flags after a Commonwealth Day Service in Sydney in March 2006

The Queen made the transition to decimal currency in 1966, when she first graced the now-discontinued $1 paper note, and has long featured on the $5 polymer note.

If Charles III does appear on notes any time soon, it’s a fair bet the planning started many moons ago because making money costs a lot of money – and time.

The RBA’s latest suite of polymer notes – called the NGB (Next Generation of Banknotes) program – took 10 years and $37 million to complete, ending with the $100 bill in 2020.

The notes are printed in Melbourne by the RBA’s wholly-owned subsidiary Note Printing Australia, and undergo no fewer than 13 production processes.

New $5 notes featuring King Charles’ head are likely to continue to bear some of the complex security traits of existing notes, including 3D and moving imagery, a tactile feature for the visually impaired, colour changes, micro-printed lines from the constitution and fluorescence under UV light.

Coins are the responsibility of the Treasurer and are manufactured by the Royal Australian Mint. It has produced more than 15 billion coins since being opened by the new monarch’s late father, Prince Philip, in 1965.

Australia won’t be the only nation in the Commonwealth facing the prospect of introducing new designs on its coins and notes.

Queen Elizabeth visited Australia 16 times during her 70-year reign. In 2002, she famously watched a cultural show at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns (pictured)

Queen Elizabeth visited Australia 16 times during her 70-year reign. In 2002, she famously watched a cultural show at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns (pictured)

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese offered his condolences to the Royal Family, the British people, and all his own citizens who held Her Majesty in the highest regard

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese offered his condolences to the Royal Family, the British people, and all his own citizens who held Her Majesty in the highest regard

Queen Elizabeth II has appeared on the currency of more than 30 countries, the first being Canada’s $20 note in 1935, when she was only nine years old.

She is still likely to be in circulation somewhere, a century later, and well after her death which was announced on Friday at the age of 96.

There is no word yet on how the Irwin family feels about calls for Steve to be on Australia’s currency, but they are known to have a good relationship with the British Royal Family.

Charles, then the Prince of Wales, spent a day with the Irwins on Lady Elliot Island, just off the coast of Queensland, during his royal tour of Australia in 2018.

They likely found in Charles a kindred spirit, as he has long advocated for wildlife conservation and other environmental issues long before it was politically trendy.

There is no word yet on how the Irwin family feels about calls for Steve to be on Australia's currency, but they are known to have a good relationship with the Royal Family. (Pictured: Terri, Bob and Bindi Irwin speaking with Prince Charles on Lady Elliot Island on April 6, 2018)

There is no word yet on how the Irwin family feels about calls for Steve to be on Australia’s currency, but they are known to have a good relationship with the Royal Family. (Pictured: Terri, Bob and Bindi Irwin speaking with Prince Charles on Lady Elliot Island on April 6, 2018)

‘Our family feels extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to meet with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and other dignitaries today at Lady Elliot Island,’ Bindi wrote on Instagram at the time.

‘We joined together to discuss important methods to protect the largest living structure on Earth, the Great Barrier Reef.

‘We must work together to make a difference and protect these sensitive ecosystems for the generations to come #RoyalVisitAustralia.’

Her younger brother Robert also said at the time he was ‘truly honoured’ to meet Charles, who was joined on the trip by his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and speak to ‘such a passionate and influential person’ about the Great Barrier Reef.

Charles spent a day with the Irwins on Lady Elliot Island, just off the coast of Queensland, during his royal tour of Australia in 2018. They likely found in Charles a kindred spirit, as he has long advocated for environmental issues long before it was politically trendy. (Pictured with Peter Gash, the managing director of Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, on April 6, 2018)

Charles spent a day with the Irwins on Lady Elliot Island, just off the coast of Queensland, during his royal tour of Australia in 2018. They likely found in Charles a kindred spirit, as he has long advocated for environmental issues long before it was politically trendy. (Pictured with Peter Gash, the managing director of Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, on April 6, 2018)

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