The mystery surrounding the five cent coin’s future

There continues to be confusion surrounding the five cent piece after Treasurer Scott Morrison refused to answer a question about the coin’s future at the National Press Club yesterday.

Back in February, the Royal Australian Mint suggested the five cent coin’s days are numbered due to a sharp decline in demand.

On top of this, the five cent coins actually cost six cents to make.

Read more: Why the days of the 5 cent coin are numbered

While the Turnbull government has said Australia needs to “live within its means”, this week’s federal budget did not contain any savings measures related to scrapping the five cent coin.

While speaking at the National Press Club yesterday, the Treasurer dodged a question from News Corp journalist Malcolm Farr about why the government wasn’t scrapping the five cent coin.

“Well Mal, if you can get as many people in this room again who are interested in that topic, I’ll answer your question,” Morrison said.

“I’ll take it up with the Reserve Bank governor, Mal, why don’t we get some questions about the budget.”

Moderator and ABC political editor Chris Uhlmann then quipped: “Maybe you can make it in South Australia, it’ll cost 10 cents”.

The joke was a reference to the government dishing out billions of dollars to build submarines in South Australia, rather than build the submarines overseas.

Farr has since challenged the Treasurer to answer the question, given a story he wrote on the issue has been read by more than 60,000 people – well over the number of people Morrison suggested needed to be interested in the five cent coin before he spills the beans.

The last time Australia stopped producing a set of coins was in 1990, when the one and two cent coins were phased out.

Will small businesses be annoyed at having to say goodbye to the five cent coin?

While Australians have been quick to adopt cashless payment systems, many small businesses still handle cash.

This is especially the case for those in retail and hospitality.

Chris Thomson, the co-founder of chocolate and coffee business Noosa Chocolate Factory, told SmartCompany many of his customers come in to grab a coffee or snack with their spare change.

However, the small business owner is hopeful the five cent coin will soon be history because he believes customers hate being given back small amounts of change.

Because of this, Noosa Chocolate Factory tends to round out its prices to avoid customers either having to dish out or receive a pesky five or 10 cent coin.

“It [the five cent coin] isn’t as big an issue as it was four or five years ago, before most of the banks had coin counters for us,” Thomson says.

“We wouldn’t be too badly off if it were to go. With inflation, five cents isn’t the same as it was several years ago – people are happy to ignore five cents. In 20 years’ time, we might not have 20 cents.”

Will you be sad to say goodbye to the five cent coin? Let us know in the comments below


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