Australian dollar banknote information request

Scott, of the family Chapman made this Freedom of Information request to Reserve Bank of Australia

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Scott, of the family Chapman

Dear Reserve Bank of Australia representative

I am currently researching the history of money and would like to request some information from you.

It is my innerstanding that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) duties include facilitating an economically efficient payment system and issuing the Commonwealth of Australia (Australia) banknotes in circulation.

1. Can you please provide the information that you have or have access to that provides that the Australian dollar banknote is 'Lawful' money of 'substance'?

2. Where does the Australian dollar banknote specifically derive its intrinsic value from?

Kind Regards
Scott, of the family Chapman

FOI, Reserve Bank of Australia

Dear Mr Chapman,

I refer to your recent query seeking information about Australia’s

The Reserve Bank of Australia is responsible for the issue of Australian
banknotes (which are legal tender throughout Australia for sales,
transactions or dealings).  The broader concepts you are interested in
(relative value and ‘substance’ of the Australian dollar) are not
specifically addressed by the Reserve Bank, however, there is a range of
information available online which may assist you in understanding how
‘money’ works and why currency is readily accepted as a means to
facilitate the transfer of goods and services in the Australian economy. 
Please see the following links for this information:

What is Money -

Legal Tender - [2]
Exchange rates -

I hope this information is useful to you and wish you well with your

Best regards

Phil Lomas | FOI Officer | Secretary's Department  
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA | 65 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000
e: [4][RBA request email] | w: [5]



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Scott, of the family Chapman

Hi Phil

That information is very very helpful. However, could I request that you direct me to the official glossary where the RBA derives its definition of terms? That information would be most helpful in deciphering some of the information.

In addition, I have a couple of simple questions related to the information provided.

What do commercial banks use to purchase the Australian dollar banknotes created by the RBA? and if the RBA prints its own 'money of account' out of thin air, why would there be a need to purchase the banknotes? As per under the title "How is money created?" it states, "commercial banks purchase banknotes from the Reserve Bank [of Australia]"

Does the RBA accept the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as a method for money creation? Do you have a document that explains the details of the principles used/recognized by the RBA?

Since legal tender is a note issued by the RBA and the Mint issues the coins, who controls/has responsibility for the creation of digital dollars in circulation?

Kind Regards

FOI, Reserve Bank of Australia

Dear Mr Chapman,

Please see below answers to your new questions.

For further queries of this nature, please direct them to our general enquiries email address ([email address]). These contact details can also be found on the contacts tab on our home page at .

Yours sincerely

Phil Lomas | FOI Officer | Secretary's Department
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA | 65 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000
e: [RBA request email] | w:

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