GIVE FIVE: Neville Beeston's grandson Jacob Cowan is encouraging Australians to donate their five cent pieces towards drought relief.
GIVE FIVE: Neville Beeston's grandson Jacob Cowan is encouraging Australians to donate their five cent pieces towards drought relief. Mike Knott BUN130818FIVES2

Call to remove five cent piece from circulation for drought

IT COST more money to make than it's actually worth, so why is the five cent piece still in circulation?

It's been a hot topic for a number of years and now Bundaberg's Neville Beeston would like to see the silver coin stopped in a unique way.

Mr Beeston proposes the nation collects its small change and hands it over to the drought stricken farmers.

 

Jacob Cowan and Neville Beeston are encouraging Australians to donate their five cent pieces towards drought relief.
Jacob Cowan and Neville Beeston are encouraging Australians to donate their five cent pieces towards drought relief. Mike Knott BUN130818FIVES1

Farming is the lifeline for the Beemart owner, who has been through drought in the past and seen the effects first-hand.

"I mostly deal with small crops now, its affected the least," he said.

"In the long-term if we don't get rain everything will be affected."

He hopes his campaign, Five for Farmers, will take off around Australia.

 

Jacob Cowan and Neville Beeston are encouraging Australians to donate their five cent pieces towards drought relief.
Jacob Cowan and Neville Beeston are encouraging Australians to donate their five cent pieces towards drought relief. Mike Knott BUN130818FIVES5

"The graziers are the worst affected, but if we don't get rain soon - sugar will be affected next year as well," he said. "I work side-by-side with these guys and we are all farmers in some way."

A Royal Australian Mint spokeswoman said there were no plans to take the five cent piece out of circulation. "Any plans to remove the coin from circulation would be made by the Treasurer," she said.

"Although the Royal Australian Mint is supportive of Australian farmers, the decision to run a campaign of this nature would not be in our remit."

Anyone wanting to donate their echidna covered piece of currency to the drought stricken farmers can drop it to Beemart to be forwarded to help anyway.

My five cents

Due to metal commodity market fluctuations, the cost to produce the five cent piece changes year on year and throughout the year. In 2014 it cost six cents to make it.

The value of five cent pieces in circulation at this moment can't be said exactly due to natural attrition and wear and tear, however, the Royal Australian Mint has produced 221,591,000 five cent coins since 1965.

This equates to more than $11 million dollars worth.



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