New $50 note contains typo in word 'responsibility', discovered months after 46 million notes distributed

| 10.05,19. 04:25 AM |

New $50 note contains typo in word 'responsibility', discovered months after 46 million notes distributed

Photo:The word "responsibility" is missing the third "i" on the new $50 note. (ABC News: Tim Leslie)

Photo:The next-generation notes have a number of features, including symbols revealed under UV light. (Supplied: Reserve Bank of Australia)


The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has confirmed the existence of a printing error on the new $50 note after a radio station posted a photo on social media sent in by a listener.

An Instagram post by Triple M on Thursday morning showed the new currency under a magnifying glass, revealing the typo in microscopic text on the note just above Edith Cowan's shoulder.

In the text, which is taken from Ms Cowan's maiden speech to the WA Parliament in 1921, the word "responsibility" is missing the third "i" and says "responsibilty".

The word appears three times in the excerpt, all of which are misspelled on the note in the same manner.

Edith Cowan was a social reformer who was the first Australian woman ever to serve as a Member of Parliament.

The phrase with the error in it reads: "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.

"If men and women can work for the state side by side and represent all different sections of the community, I cannot doubt that we should do very much better work in the community than was ever done before."

An RBA spokesperson said it was aware of the mistake and said the spelling would be corrected in the next print run, which would occur in the next few months, with the new notes being released into circulation towards the end of 2019.

"The process of designing and printing a banknote is complex and iterative," an RBA spokesperson said.

"We have strict quality assurance processes, but like any manufacturing process, errors can occur. We have reviewed our processes to remove the likelihood of such an error occurring in the future."

The latest $50 note was unveiled in February 2018 and went into circulation in October last year.

The note features Ms Cowan and inventor and author David Unaipon.

The print run produced 46 million of the notes at a value of $2.3 billion.

In addition to the just-discovered typo, the note features four birds — one of which can only be seen under ultraviolet or UV light.

A green swan features in the left-hand corner of the side showing Mr Unaipon, and two more swans can be seen on the clear window that runs through the middle of the note — a black one and another that "flies".

Those two swans are visible from both sides of the note, including the side that features Edith Cowan.

But the fourth swan is hidden behind the signatures on the David Unaipon side and is only visible under UV light.


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