Principality of Hutt River

 

 

THE PRINCIPALITY OF HUTT RIVER

 

HEMA Map reference 76/E3

 

GPS 28 07 S 114 39 E

 

 

 

 

FIND ACCOMMODATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATISTICS

Distance from Perth

595 Km

Population

30

Average Rainfall

See Northampton

Mean Max Temp

See Northampton

Mean Min Temp

See Northampton

 

SERVICES

Police

See Northampton

Fire and Rescue

See Northampton

Medical

See Northampton

Visitor Centre

See Northampton

 

CARAVAN PARKS

See Northampton

 

 

HOTEL / MOTEL / B AND B

See Northampton

 

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

 

 

 

link to Mingor.net website

 

DESCRIPTION

 

The Principality of Hutt River has its own post office and government admin building, a church, gift shop, tea rooms as well as some private dwellings and the usual farm buildings associated with that activity.

The caravan facility is not what we could call spacious, but there is room for a couple of vans and with power, hot water showers, washing machine, toilets and all the peace and quiet you can handle, it is a good spot to stop and explore the surrounding area. (The caravan park is also the second cheapest in the state after Bolgart at the time of writing).

The Principality has a permanent population of around 30 people and there are more than 1,300 citizens scattered across the world.

Although it tends to be regarded as a bit of a laugh by many Australians, the Principality has a very serious message behind its formation. It shows that, after all, it is possible for the individual to stand up to overbearing Governments and win.

In early 2017, Prince Leonard announced he would be stepping down as head of state. Will this mean the beginning of the end for Hutt River?

 

Principality of Hutt River Logo
Official Web Site

 

HISTORY

 

The Principality of Hutt River is an example of what you can do if you are game enough and far enough away from the authorities for it to be too much trouble for them to close you down.

The self declared independent Sovereign State of Hutt River was declared on April 21st 1970. It was brought about by wheat quotas (based on prior years yields) being set in 1969. The quota set for Leonard George Casley's Hutt River property was a ludicrously small 1647 bushels.

A number of drawn out complaints and refusal by bureaucrats to make any sensible decisions led to a declaration of secession being sent to the Premier, Governor and Prime Minister.

The rulers, Prince Leonard and Princess Shirley (1), were once humble farmers (actually they still are pretty much, as sheep are still run on the property) but now they are also the only resident Royals within the borders of the Australian continent.

Hutt River passports, issued by the Principality, are accepted by a wide variety of countries including France, Greece, India and Lebanon. Prince Leonard has always travelled using his Hutt River passport and to date has had no problems with Australian Immigration so they do at least - begrudgingly - accept it.

The principality issues its own stamps and letters posted at Hutt River using their stamps are honoured by Australia Post (again rather grudgingly). At one time the currency issued by Principality of Hutt River was accepted by the Reserve Bank of Australia but due to currency registration problems this is no longer the case.

Due to a loop hole in the laws (at the time of secession) this independent, land locked nation pays no tax (except GST which no one can manage to avoid) to the Australian Government and in revenge the Government tried hard to make sure that no one could find The Principality by neglecting to put up any road signs. (We note that due to the number of people wishing to visit, this has recently started to change.)

The Australian Government also refuses to provide mains power to the property despite the fact that it would gain revenue from doing so - a case of cutting off the nose to spite the face we think.

In an event right out of the movie 'The Mouse that Roared' the tiny province declared war on the Commonwealth of Australia on December 2nd 1977. The 'war' lasted all of 2 days and without a shot being fired it all ended and peace was declared on December 4th. It is a principle of international law that any nation that is undefeated from a state of war will gain automatic sovereignty and the occupying power will be free to govern.

The Australian Government really dislikes the whole concept of The Principality but under its own laws it can do very little about it. There is a very interesting Government document posted on the wall of the gift shop that says in effect that The Principality of Hutt River has the right to exist under Australian law and Prince Leonard is exempt from paying tax. It also says that this needs to all be hushed up so others will not follow this example. Three people who have tried wound up in prison.

"All social security benefits were withdrawn from Hutt River's residents at the time of secession by the Australian Government. Residents do not receive pensions, medical benefits, educational allowances, child endowments or benefits normally paid to war veterans." Wikipedia

I suspect that the bureaucrats are patiently biding their time in the hopes that the whole thing will one day just fade away - after all taking any overt hostile action against Hutt River would only gain it more support. They have so far been waiting over 45 years.

Leonard George Casley

Born in Kalgoorlie on August 27th 1925. As a child his family moved to Rawlina and then back to Kalgoorlie/Boulder at the age of eight. The family moved to Fremantle, then back to Kalgoorlie again and back to Fremantle yet again, so Len's upbringing was one of continual movement.

After leaving school he worked as a shipping clerk while he studied accountancy at night. At the age of 18 he joined the RAAF and served for three years.

After leaving the RAAF he started his own exporting business and it was at this time that he first ran afoul of the various marketing boards that plague this state. (Marketing boards are basically monopolies, set up to market various goods, usually farmed goods, and their only reason for existence is to keep prices high.)

At the age of 21, Leonard married Shirley Joy Butler after a rather long 5 year courtship. The couple were to have 4 sons and 3 daughters.

Len then formed the Westonia Pastoral Co. and became a farmer.

After the dispute over quotas and the declaration of independence, the Federal Government handed the problem off to the State Government but a change of Prime Minister meant that eventually the Federal Government started to take much more notice of this pesky independent province.

Various foibles in the law meant that the province had to become a principality and Administrator Leonard became Prince Leonard.

The Shire of Northampton tried, unsuccessfully, to bring Hutt River down by threatening to demolish buildings that had not received council approval. Mail being sent to Hutt River was cut off until a letter of complaint sent to Prime Minister Gough Whitlam saw deliveries re-start.

Hutt River and its occupants were still gamely battling away when we visited them in 2007. All we can say is long may the principality survive.


(1) Princess Shirley passed away on the 7th of July 2013 aged 84 years. We had the great privilege of meeting both Princess Shirley and Prince Leonard.

 

TALL TALES AND TRUE

 

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MAP

 

 

VIDEO

 

(C) A Current Affair

 

OTHER INFORMATION

 

ATTRACTIONS

 

Principality buildings.

 

BUILDINGS OF NOTE

 

Post Office.

 

ELECTORAL ZONES

 

State : Does not apply

Federal : Does not apply

 

OTHER INFO.

 

Postcode : Does not apply

Local Government : Principality of Hutt River

 

PHOTOS

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