The weird facts about Hutt River

IMG_6213a (Custom)After declaring independence in 1970, under Australian law, the federal government had two years to respond; the failure to respond gave the province de facto autonomy on 21 April 1972. According to Casley, to overturn this de facto recognition, the West Australian Governor’s office would have to submit the secession to arbitration, something which the Hutt River Province claims is not done due to legal uncertainty over the result, related to the fact that Western Australia in its entirety was never officially proclaimed as British Territory.
Following repeated demands by the Australian Taxation Office for the payment of taxes, on 2 December 1977 the province officially declared war on Australia. Leonard Casley notified authorities of the cessation of hostilities several days later. These events helped to reinforce the state of independence. IMG_6218a (Custom)
The principality claims to be an independent sovereign state, but remains unrecognised by Australia or other nations.
Nevertheless the Australian authorities do handle the Hutt River Principality in a special way:
– in 1976, Australia Post refused to handle Hutt River mail, forcing mail to be redirected via Canada. The mail service was restored after a court case deemed that Hutt River stamps and coins were legal within the principality
IMG_6219a (Custom)– Hutt River residents are required to lodge income tax forms but are classed by the Australian Tax office as “non-residents of Australia” for income tax purposes; thus income earned within the province is exempt from Australian taxation.
– Prince Leonard is the subject of a permanent exhibit at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, about the theme of ‘Separation’ within Australia which includes a Hutt River Province display which states that Casley had “successfully seceded from Australia”.IMG_6154 (Custom)
– Passports issued by the “Hutt River Province” are not legally recognised by the Australian Government, but have been accepted on a case-by-case basis for overseas travel.
– The principality registers on-line universities in its territory, which is illegal within Australia. However, the government authorities have not acted against this.
In the early 1980s the principality released a number of its own stamps and coins.
It is about 75 square kilometres in size and exports include wild flowers, stamps and coins and agricultural produce. Tourism is also important to the economy, with 40,000 tourists visiting the principality every year. The principality’s capital, Nain, is named after Nain in Galilee.IMG_6206a (Custom)
While the principality has only 23 actual residents, it claims a worldwide citizenry of 14,000. The principality has no standing army, but a number of its citizens have been awarded military commissions. Honorary guardsmen attend the prince on formal occasions and, despite being completely landlocked, naval commissions have been conferred on supporters of the principality.
Leonard Casley and his late wife Shirley have seven adult offspring, among them “Crown Prince Ian”, born 1947, who has been designated as his father’s eventual successor as “heir presumptive”.IMG_6147 (Custom)
According to Wikipedia Prince Leonard is a former mathematician and physicist, who wrote articles for NASA and who has a star named in his honour.
We expect to stay here till after our trip to Mexico and Cuba in January and February. We like it here.

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