Of the 1.3 billion banknotes worth A$61 billion in circulation in Australia, 18,000 were detected as counterfeit last year, up from about 8500 four years ago.
While the rate is relatively low by international standards, the RBA’s assistant governor for currency, Michele Bullock, says there is concern about the rising level of sophistication.
“Mostly what we see in counterfeits is paper. People cut out a little window and they stick some Contact on it.
But technology is getting better… people are able to print banknotes onto plastic substrates,” she says.
As part of its campaign to crack down on counterfeiting, the central bank has asked the government for new powers to take over some of the Australian Federal Police’s administrative roles in investigations.
This article is from the November 2014 issue of INTHEBLACK.