Note Printing Australia

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Note Printing Australia (NPA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) that produces banknotes and passports. It was corporatised in July 1998 and is located in Craigieburn, Melbourne. NPA has its origins as a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank and was established in 1913 to print banknotes for Australia. After printing paper banknotes for 75 years, NPA introduced the first polymer banknote technology in 1988. NPA print banknotes for several other countries as well as Australia due to the high standards of durability and difficulty of counterfeiting.

NPA polymer banknotes[edit]

In the mid 1960s Australia was hit by forgeries of the newly introduced $10 paper decimal note.[1][2] In response, the Reserve Bank of Australia and Note Printing Australia commissioned the CSIRO to find better ways to secure the Australian currency. This led to the development of the polymer banknote, which the NPA took into production and introduced in 1988.[1] NPA has since focused heavily in promoting the benefits of the polymer technology they developed. According to internal RBA documents, NPA's printing costs in 2012 were 34¢ per note.[3] These notes contain trace amounts of tallow which is a hard animal fat and is often avoided by vegetarians and certain religious groups.[4]

Use of NPA polymer banknote technology by other countries[edit]

NPA licences their polymer banknote technology to other countries for use in the production of their own polymer banknotes, including Canada.[5]

Printing equipment[edit]

Note Printing Australia is a security printing facility, that uses a number of special printers not available to the general printing industry.

2014 mention in Victorian Supreme Court suppression order[edit]

NPA was mentioned in a leaked suppression order of the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne. The order, by Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth, which forbids publication of corruption allegations against named government officials of Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, includes a specific exemption allowing the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to pass banned information on to NPA.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Our Currency". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Australian Government. November 2009. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  2. ^ Shand, Adam (8 June 2012). "The money changers". The Australian. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 16 June 2014.(subscription required)
  3. ^ Shand, Adam (28 September 2012). "RBA 'wasting $50m a year' on print subsidiary". The Australian. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Vegans, vegetarians angry tallow animal fat used in Britain's new polymer banknotes". ABC News. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Backgrounder on Canada's new polymer bank note series" (PDF). Bank of Canada. June 2011.
  6. ^ "The Queen v.s Barry Thomas Brady & ors, suppression order, 19 June 2014" (PDF).
  • Note Printing in Australia (RBA) (~1988) Published by Nucolorve Productions Pty Ltd, ISBN 0-85858-097-7
  • Australia's New $5 Note, (RBA) leaflet
  • Australian Currency Notes - How they are made, (RBA) leaflet

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°36′47″S 144°56′36″E / 37.612974°S 144.943453°E / -37.612974; 144.943453