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Decimal Currency 40th Anniversary

The 14th of February 1966!

Today is the 40th anniversary of the introduction of decimal currency in Australia.

On this day in 1966, the imperial currency of pounds, shillings and pence was replaced with a decimal system of dollars and cents. Decimal currency was followed in the early 1970s with the metric system of weights and measures.

The currency change was initiated by the Menzies coalition government and then Treasurer Harold Holt. It was legislated under Section 51 (xii) of the Australian Constitution.

An intensive advertising campaign accompanied the introduction of the new currency, including a song written to the tune of Click Go the Shears.

In 1965, the Australian entertainer, Ian Turpie, released a 7″ single record, The Decimal Point. The images in the video below are taken from my original copy, now damaged. Turpie died in 2012, aged 68.

Watch and listen to Ian Turpie’s 1965-66 single, The Decimal Point

Listen to The Decimal Point

The Dollar Bill advertisement: “In come the dollars and in come the cents.”

And the colour version.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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