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Cabinet papers: One and two cent coins cashed in

This 1990 one cent master coin was one of the last produced before Paul Keating decided to withdraw this denomination.Australia’s long usage of copper coins ended when the Hawke government stopped the production and issue of new one and two cent coins.

Treasurer Paul Keating told the cabinet in July 1990 that the purchasing power of both coins had become “practically nil”.

Both coins were introduced with decimalisation on February 14, 1966, replacing the penny and halfpenny. The original reverse designs remained unchanged for 24 years. Many countries, including Norway, Sweden, France and New Zealand, had recently withdrawn lowest denomination coins from circulation.

Mr Keating said most consumers regarded them as a nuisance.

“The coins cost more to produce than their face value,” he said.

“There is likely to be some false concern initially that the proposed change will add to inflation. Changes to coinage and notes give rise to opposition, but it is usually short-lived.”

Both coins were withdrawn from circulation in February 1992.

Cabinet records release

Cabinet records for 1990 and 1991 held by the National Archives of Australia became eligible for access from January 1, 2016. Information about the cabinet records, lists of the documents and copies of key cabinet documents, including selected submissions and decisions, are available on the Archives’ website (naa.gov备案老域名). Click on the “Collection” tab, then “Popular research topics”, then “Cabinet”.

Requests for access to records not already released may be made via RecordSearch on the Archives’ website.

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