Currency changed in Australia on this day 51 years ago.
Currency changed in Australia on this day 51 years ago. Warren Lynam

Valentine's Day made total cents 51 years ago

WHILE all lovers spend a fortune on chocolates and flowers today, they may not realise that the currency they use has only been around for 51 years today.

On February 14, 1966 Australia's money changed from pounds and pence to dollars and cents.

The idea to change the currency in Australia had actually started shortly after Federation.

In 1906 a politician of the day, Sir John Forrest was asked his opinion on changing the coinage to a decimal system in the newly formed country.

"I think there is a feeling in Australia that its adoption is the right thing to do," he was reported saying in the Coolgardie Miner newspaper.

The article went on to quote Forrest as saying he would like to see 'the old country' lead the way as Australian coinage was the same as that in England.

It wasn't until the the Decimal Currency Act was introduced in 1965 that it announced the change of currency would be on St Valentine's Day.

As the song goes:

"In come the dollars, in come the cents,

To replace the pounds and the shillings and the pence,

Be prepared folks when the coins begin to mix,

On the 14th of February, 1966."

Australia decided not to wait for England to go decimal, preferring to lead their own way.

New Zealand followed in 1967.


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