Fans of the late Steve Irwin have started a petition nominating the television star to replace King Charles III on new $5 bills when they are issued Down Under.
Petitioners Vincent Wu and Kirby Miles are driving the move now listed on the Australian Parliament House website to elevate the globally admired zookeeper, conservationist, television personality, wildlife expert, and environmentalist.
Queen Elizabeth II was first featured on the first $5 paper note in 1992 and also appeared on Australia’s first $5 polymer note.
The late monarch features on the current version and by tradition was due to be replaced by King Charles III.
“The death of Queen Elizabeth II and the proclamation of King Charles III raises an important question about the future of Australian currency,” Miles said on his petition.
“We propose keeping all existing $5 notes featuring Queen Elizabeth II in circulation and introducing a new $5 note honouring Australian zookeeper Steve Irwin.”
Wu agreed. He said there is no one “more vital to Australian culture” than the Crocodile Hunter.
“Steve is beloved by all and has become synonymous with the Australian values we hold so dearly,” he said.
“He epitomised the spirit of mateship; he deeply loved the Australian wildlife, working hard towards conservation and education but perhaps most importantly he’s just a good bloke.”
Sky News Australia reports Assistant Treasury Minister Andrew Leigh spoke to reporters while at the Royal Australian Mint last month and said King Charles III will not “automatically” appear on the country’s smallest denomination note.
He said while the new monarch will feature on our new coins “as a matter of tradition” that isn’t the case for the $5 note – which has previously featured portraits of other notables.
This isn’t the first time the late wildlife activist, who died in 2006 after being stung multiple times in the heart by a stingray, has been nominated to feature on Australia’s currency.
Six years ago, another fan took to change.org to support the idea of having Steve Irwin feature on the $100 note.
That petition attracted more than 31,000 signatures. The latest petition has just 42 supporters.