Media Release Centenary of Federation $5 Note – Use in Vending Machines

There have been reports in the media that users of the Melbourne passenger transport system have been unable to use the new $5 note in ticket vending machines. A Public Transport Media Release issued by the companies operating the Melbourne transport network dated 8 January 2001 said “the problem has arisen because the Reserve Bank only provided the organisation that develops the bill validating software with sample notes for testing just before Christmas”. In fact, the offer of notes was made to the two organisations supplying to the Melbourne transport system on 13 October 2000, along with the offer that was made to the other 20 companies that supply vending machines or note validating equipment.

Following standard practice when new notes are issued, the Reserve Bank wrote to the 22 suppliers on 13 October 2000, asking them to accept notes for pre-release testing, informed them that the new note would be released on 1 January 2001, and that samples of notes would be made available immediately the normal confidentiality agreement was signed and returned to the Bank.

After follow-up phone calls from the Bank, one of the suppliers to the Melbourne transport companies returned the confidentiality agreement on 22 November and was issued with notes immediately. The other did not return it until 19 December when it was also issued the notes immediately. The supplier of the crucial bill validating software was the one that received the notes in November.


Manager, Media Office
Information Department
Reserve Bank of Australia

Phone: (02) 9551 9720