25 March 2014
I am pleased to rise to speak about a remarkable boy, Connor McLeod, from Oakhurst
in Sydney. Connor, his mum, Ally and the Member for Chifley came to see me this week
with their idea to introduce tactile banknotes to Australia.
Connor is visually impaired. He told me about the significant difference tactile banknotes
would make in his life. He is frequently forced to pay for things using only coins because
these are easier to distinguish.
Connor told me how he received money from his relatives for Christmas last year but was
unable to determine for himself how generous his relatives had been. Tactile banknotes
would make a major difference to the lives of more than 300,000 Australians with a visual
impairment. Connor showed me an example of a tactile banknote from Canada.
Many other countries have adopted tactile banknotes. It is possible.
I urge the government to instruct the Reserve Bank of Australia to introduce tactile
banknotes to Australia as soon as possible. Most Australians take for granted the ability
to tell the difference between banknotes.
Visually impaired Australians deserve to be as independent as they possibly can be. I will
continue to work with Connor and his mother, Ally, to make sure this important advance
for visually impaired Australians becomes a reality.