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Reserve Bank’s $2.3bn typo

Friday, 10 May 2019
By Jake Nelson

The “responsibilty” typo appears three times on the new $50 note.

An embarrassing typo has been found on Australia’s new $50 note, which can be seen on all 46 million in circulation.

The error appears in an excerpt from the maiden speech of Australia’s first female Parliamentarian Edith Cowan, which is printed in micro-text over her right shoulder on the serial number side of the note designed by emerystudio.

In the sentence “It is a great responsibility to be the only woman here and I want to emphasise the necessity which exists for other women being here,” the word “responsibility” is spelled “responsibilty” – and the error is then repeated twice.

The value of the 46 million $50 notes circulating with the error is $2.3bn, and the Reserve Bank has no plans to recall them.

“The Reserve Bank of Australia is aware of it and the spelling will be corrected at the next print run,” a spokesperson said. “The spelling mistake occurred as a result of human error during the development process.”

The new $50 note was rolled out last year with expanded security features aimed at preventing forgery of Australia’s most-counterfeited denomination, according to RBA governor Philip Lowe.

“Improved security and ease of recognition underpin the design of the new $50 banknote. With the release of the $5 and $10 during the past two years, we are confident the Australian public are becoming familiar with the new banknote security features,” said Lowe ahead of its release.

All Australian banknotes are printed by Note Printing Australia (NPA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank. The printing process is complex and highly involved, incorporating offset, intaglio and letterpress stages to maximise security against counterfeiting.

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