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Poms to update Queen's coin portrait: Australia should go it alone and dump her off our coins

Lawson, Blaxland and
Wentworth: A perfect triple
portrait for Australia's coins.

As the UK moves to update the official portrait of the Queen on their coins, there is now a real opportunity for Australia to dump the Queen off our coins in favour of something uniquely Australian.

This is a chance for a genuine "mea culpa" by the Prime Minister Tony Abbott after his disastrous PR stunt in making Prince Philip a Knight of the Realm on Australia Day.

There are many great Australians who could be a permanent part of our coinage.

For example, we could recognise our greatest explorers Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth who crossed the Blue Mountains in an epic feat in 1813 to open up the western plains.

Australia could have unique coinage with a "Triple Head" on our coins.

Australian coins would become distinctive across the world and would be genuine collectors' items.

If we don't do anything, sooner or later we will see King Charles on our coins.

And that would be a total embarrassment, even for arch-conservatives and monarchists like Tony Abbott.

British coin with the
Queen's new portrait.
ABC News reports: A new portrait of Queen Elizabeth which will feature on the United Kingdom's coins has been unveiled.

The portrait is the fifth of the 88-year-old queen, who will overtake Queen Victoria as Britain's longest-reigning monarch in September, to appear on coins since she came to the throne in 1952, and the first since 1998.

The new portrayal, showing Queen Elizabeth wearing the royal diamond diadem crown worn for her coronation, was created by 33-year-old Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark, whose design was selected from a number of anonymous submissions.

The last Royal Mint engraver to be commissioned to undertake a royal portrait was George William de Saulles, who engraved the portrait of Edward VII which first appeared on coins in 1902.

Coins featuring the new effigy will go into production immediately, and are set to go into circulation later this year.

Just when Australians can expect to pocket the new portrait of Queen Elizabeth remains unclear.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Australian Mint said there were no plans to use the latest effigy on Australian coins at this stage.