Stories of separation are laced with anguish, loss, determination and resilience. Through forced circumstances, or by choice, separation divides people from people, and people from land, into disconnected worlds. You can measure it in feelings. Abrupt and forced separation can tear you to pieces. With choice, it sets you adrift to go a different way. Even to rule victorious.
I wish that relations between us could be more cordial after all Hutt River Province is the second largest country in this continent. Australia could be a more neighbourly neighbour.
Prince Leonard, 1976
On 21 April 1970 Leonard George Casley served formal notice on the Premier and the Governor of Western Australia, the Acting Prime Minister, Sir John McEwen, and the Governor-General, Sir Paul Hasluck, that his land was to be the Hutt River Province and that he was to be its administrator. In a further application of bush law he changed the province to a principality and declared himself Prince Leonard and his wife Princess Shirley. He had successfully seceded from Australia.
Casley was reacting to what he regarded as an unfair wheat quota set by the Western Australian government. He turned his 18,500-acre property near Geraldton into a tourist mecca, printing his own stamps, passports and currency, and adopting all the trappings of a real principality.
The Principality of Hutt River, previously known as the Hutt River Province, is the oldest micronation in Australia. The principality claims to be an independent sovereign state, although it remains unrecognized except by other micronations, despite achieving de facto legal status on April 21, 1972.
The Principality of Hutt River was created in 1969, as a province by the name of Hutt River Province, in response to a dispute with the government of Western Australia over what the Casley family considered draconian wheat production quotas. The Casley farm had around 4,000 hectares (9,900 acres) of wheat ready to harvest when the quotas were issued which allowed Casley to sell only 1,647 bushels or approximately 40 hectares (99 acres). Initially the five families who owned farms in Hutt River banded together to fight the quota and Casley lodged a protest with the Governor of Western Australia Sir Douglas Kendrew. The Governor replied "no rectification of our Quota would be allowed" which, as he acts as the Queen's representative, made Her Majesty technically liable, in Tort, for applying an unlawful imposition as the quota had not yet been passed into law. Casley then lodged a claim under the Law of Tort for $52 million in the belief the claim would force a revision of the quota. Two weeks later the government introduced a bill into Parliament to "resume" their rural lands under compulsory acquisition. After approaches to the government to reconsider the acquisition bill failed, Casley and his associates resorted to a British law (the Treason Act 1495) which they felt allowed them to secede and declare their independence from the Commonwealth of Australia. Casley states that he nonetheless remains loyal to Queen Elizabeth II. Casley was elected administrator of the new "sovereign state" by his family.
The government of Western Australia determined it could do nothing without the intervention of the Commonwealth. The Governor-General of Australia, Sir Paul Hasluck, later stated that it was unconstitutional for the Commonwealth to intervene in the secession. In correspondence with the governor-general's office, Casley was inadvertently addressed as the "Administrator of the Hutt River Province" which, under the application of Royal Prerogative, makes this recognition binding on all courts. After the government threatened him with prosecution, Casley styled himself His Majesty Prince Leonard I of Hutt to take advantage of a Commonwealth law that a monarch could not only not be charged, but that anyone who interfered with his duties could be charged with treason. Although the law in this matter has since changed, the Australian government has not taken any action against Hutt River since the declaration. Under Australian law, the government had two years to respond to Casley's declaration; the failure to respond gave the province de facto legal status on April 21, 1972.
In 1976, Australia Post refused to handle Hutt River mail, forcing mail to be redirected via Canada. Following repeated demands by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for the payment of taxes, on 2 December 1977 the province officially declared war on Australia. Prince Leonard notified authorities of the cessation of hostilities several days later. The mail service was restored and tax requests ceased. Hutt River citizens are now classed by the ATO as non-residents of Australia for income tax purposes; thus income earned within the province is exempt from Australian taxation. The province levies its own income tax of 0.5% on financial transactions by foreign companies registered in the province and personal accounts.
While the principality does not pay taxes, the Australian government's current official position is that it is nothing more than a private enterprise operating under a business name.
In the early 1980s Hutt River Province declared itself to be a kingdom, but soon after reverted to its original status of a principality. The principality proceeded to release a number of its own stamps and coins.
In September 2006 Prince Leonard decided to change the name to "Principality of Hutt River" and dropped the word "Province".
Everyone thinks this stuff is hard, its just a matter of , Arranging a Date, printing up one of these, "Cards Below" for each person in your area, getting them all filled out, counted and if you have local support your free from the bondage of the crown-state system