Notes in Australia Reading Questions and Answers

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  • IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given

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IELTS Reading PassageNotes in Australia

Notes in Australia

Issued by the Bank of New South Wales in 1816, Police Fund Notes were one of the first official notes in Australia and were well-circulated throughout the 19th century. Their use continued up until 1910, around which time the Federal Government became responsible for issuing, monitoring and controlling all currencies that were used throughout the country. Once the Australian Notes Act was passed in 1910, it took three years for the Federal Government to issue the first series of Australian notes. The Government followed the British Imperial system where twelve pence made a shilling and twenty shillings made a pound. The same Act also stopped different states and their banks from issuing and circulating their own notes. The status of ‘state notes’ as legal tender ceased from that time resulting in the Commonwealth Treasury having full responsibility and control over issuing notes. In 1920 however, control was transferred to a Board of Directors directly appointed by the Commonwealth Government.

By the end of 1924, a number of changes took place regarding the control of note-issuing, the most significant being the replacement of the Commonwealth Government Board of Directors by the Commonwealth Bank Board of Directors. Gradually, the Commonwealth Bank became the sole authority to issue Australian notes. This authority was formalised in 1945 by the Commonwealth Bank Act. In 1960, control was passed to another authority, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which took over the responsibility of central banking and the issuing of notes. In 1966 the RBA converted its currency from the Imperial system to decimal currency and named its standard currency the dollar.

In the 1970’s Australia experienced rapid growth in its economy and population. This growth meant that more currency would need to be printed so the RBA began the construction of a new note printing complex in Melbourne. In 1981, the first batch of notes was printed in the new complex by the printing branch of the RBA which, in 1990, was officially named Note Printing Australia. In addition to larger-scale note printing, the RBA also concentrated on developing technologically advanced and complex note printing mechanisms to guard against counterfeiting. As a result of joint efforts by the RBA and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), revolutionary polymer notes were invented. Featuring exclusively a pictorial theme of settlement incorporating elements of Aboriginal culture, commemorative $10 polymer notes were introduced in 1988 as part of Australia’s bi-centennial celebrations.

The basic idea of developing polymer notes originated from an experiment where the RBA attempted to insert an Optically Variable Device (OVD) in the notes so that counterfeiters could not copy them. Over the years, a process has evolved in the production of polymer note printing which involves several steps. Initially, blank sheets are made out of a special kind of surface material called Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) – a non-fibrous and non-porous polymer used as an alternative to paper in note printing that has a distinctive feel when touched. Usually, a technique called Opacifying is then used to apply ink to each side of the sheet through a die-cut that has a sealed space in it for the OVD – no ink is placed in this area, it remains transparent. The sheet is then ready for Intaglio Printing, a kind of printing which sets the ink in an embossed form, raising the printed elements – text, image, lines and other complicated shapes. The process then prints a see-through registration device by matching the images on both sides, dot by dot.  If the images on both sides do not align perfectly, then the see-through device will not show any printing on it once the note is held up to a light source. As a special security feature, Shadow Image Creation technique is then used by applying Optically Variable Ink (OVI) which allows the print on the reverse side to be also seen. All the notes then undergo a safety and functionality test where they are placed in front of a light source to check manually whether or not the reverse side can be seen. If the notes pass the test, it is assumed that the process has been successful.

The process then moves to Micro Printing, which is the printing of text so small that it can only be read with a magnifying glass. The second last phase of the process is Florescence Printing where some texts are printed in such a way that is only visible when viewed under ultra-violet (UV) light. The authenticity of a polymer note can be quickly established by holding it up to a UV light source – if some texts glow under the UV light then the note is authentic. The last phase of the process is called varnishing, which is the over-coating of notes with a chemical that consists of drying oil, resin and thinner. This final phase makes the surfaces of the notes glossy and more durable.

Despite significant developments of technology and control, some people argue that the life of polymer notes as currency in Australia will come to an end due to the widespread usage of electronic fund transfer cards

(1). Whether this will come to pass remains to be seen. One thing, however, seems certain, innovation of currency notes in Australia will continue into the foreseeable future.

(1) computer-based systems used to perform financial transactions electronically without physically exchanging notes or coins.

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Questions 28 – 34

Complete the flow-chart below.  

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 28-34 on your answer sheet.

Polymer note production process

Instead of 28 …………… a plastic polymer called BOPP is produced.
29 …………… is applied to the BOPP.
A special area of the 30 ………….. is left clear for 31 ………….. .
32 …………… raises the printed elements on the BOPP
Images on both sides are matched.
Security and functionality are assessed by putting the notes
next to a 33 …………
34 ………… makes the polymer note shiny and longer-lasting.

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Questions 35-39

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text?

In boxes 35-40 on your answer sheet, write

     TRUE  if the statement agrees with the information
     FALSE  if the statement contradicts the information
     NOT GIVEN  if there is no information on this

35.  Police Fund Notes were the first and only notes used in Australia.
36. The first notes issued by the Bank of New South Wales followed the British Imperial System.
37. The first series of Australian notes were released in 1910.
38. The construction of the note printing complex in Melbourne was due to economic progress in Australia.
39. Illustrations on the first Australian polymer note featured Australia’s bi-centenary.

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Question 40

Choose the correct question, A-E.

Write the correct letter in box 40 on your answer sheet.

Which of the following is the most suitable title for this reading passage?

A.  Early Australian money
B.  The economy of Australia
C.  New polymer notes for Australia
D.  Changes in Australian money
E.  The future of Australian money

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28. paper
29. ink
30. sheet // BOPP
31. OVD
32. Intaglio Printing
33. light source
34. varnishing
38. TRUE
40. D


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