Hutt River Province
 
The Hutt River Province (Principality) is one of the pre-internet inspired micronations. Located in Western Australia with an area of 560 km2.

In 1970 Leonard George Casley was a Western Australian wheat farmer. In Australia, wheat farmers sold their crop to the Australian Wheat Board under a quota system. When Leonard Casley’s family was offered an inadequate quota in November 1969, they challenged the legality of the quota system. Mr. Casley then took exception to the way in which he was being handled by the Wheat Board and by the Australian Government. In protest at his situation he investigated the laws of Australia and the state of Western Australia and decided that under a certain law he could form a ‘self-preservation government’. So, on 21 April 1970 the Casely’s seceded from Commonwealth of Australia because of crushing changes to the government wheat quotas and declared their property as ‘Hutt River Province’, 600km north of Perth, seceded from Australia. 

Initially, Leonard Casely declared himself the ‘Administrator’ of the Province. While the Australian Government refused to have anything to do with the secession, several pieces of correspondence by certain sections of the Government were addressed to the ‘Administrator’ of Hutt River Province.

This was seen by the secessionists as a form of recognition. However, shortly after secession a new Prime Minister was elected to lead Australia. He immediately announced that the secession was invalid. Delving into more obscure laws, Leonard Casely and his family decided that the secession could be more properly defended if the head of the seceding state was a Prince. So, Leonard Casley, the Administrator took the title as 'Prince', his wife became Princess Shirleya and their seven kids, together they turned their principality into a tourist destination.

The Hutt River Province covers an area of approximately 75 square kilometres. The primary income of the principality is from the sale of wildflowers, agricultural products, and philatelic and numismatic items. The Principality also makes money as a tourist destination and as a purveyor of honours and titles.

The Australian Government continues to aver that the province holds no official status and is not recognized by the Australian or any other government. Passports, titles, and postage stamps issued by the Principality are not recognized by Australia and all such objects are regarded as fantasy items. According to official statements, the ‘Hutt River Province’ is just a privately owned wheat farm. It would be interesting to know if Prince Leonard has paid any tax to the Australian Government in all his years of independence, and if he has not, why the Government does not take action. It is probable that it is considered better to let sleeping dogs lie, rather than pursuing the issue, which would just give the Prince an opportunity to promote his cause.

After becoming frustrated with the Western Australia government's inaction Casley found an obscure clause permitted under British common law to legally secede. The Australian government largely ignored Leonard, who proclaimed himself Prince. Since its founding Leonard claims to have granted citizenship to some 13,000 people from all over the world. Hutt River Province has been an active tourist destination as a result of Leonard's notoriety.

 

BrX#04 50 cents. Year: 1976. Weight: 5.00g. Metal: Copper-Nickel-Zinc. Diameter: 25.00 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Lombardo Mint. Obverse: "Prince Leonard" written on the top and his picture below it. Date at the bottom.  Reverse: "Hutt River Province" on the top. Hutt River Province logo in center circle. "Fifty Cents" at the bottom. Mintage: 5,000 + 2,000 Proof. Minted Years: 1976-1978. Designer: Christine Norman (CN written below Prince Leonard head).

BrX#11 30 Dollars. Year: 1979. Weight: 31.10g. Metal: 0.999 Silver. Diameter: 39.00 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Lombardo Mint. Obverse: "PRINCE LEONARD" written on the top and his picture below it. Date at the bottom.  Reverse: "HUTT RIVER PROVINCE" on the top. "1973-1979 TALLY HO SKYLAB" written below the Skylab "THIRTY DOLLARS" at the bottom. Mintage: 500. Minted Years: One year type. Designer: Christine Norman (CN written below Prince Leonard head).

Note: Skylab was the United States's first space station. It was inhabited only 171 days, from May 1973 to February 1974. It was intended to stay in orbit until 1983 and was to be utilized in the Space Shuttle program. Instead it came crashing back to earth on July 11, 1979, before the first Space Shuttle was launched. To commemorate the fall of Skylab, Hutt River Province issued this 1 troy ounce silver 30 Dollar coin picturing the space station and the dates 1973-1979 and the legend "TALLY HO SKYLAB". Prince Leonard, a former NASA physicist who is the ruler of this self-declared nation in Australia, is pictured on on the obverse. The coin has a mintage of just 500 pieces. It was only produced in Proof, though many collectors would not consider the coin to meet the modern definition of Proof quality.

During the thirty years that Prince Leonard has managed to remain independent he has produced numerous philatelic and numismatic products. These items are unashamedly sold into that section of the collector market that chooses to collect fantasy pieces. Capitalizing on many press articles about Hutt they began a collector coin program in 1976 and have also issued commemorative postage stamps. In 1974 Prince Leonard issued a colorful set of five banknotes with his image and signature. Each banknote back has a different design theme, important in Hutt, ranging from boomerangs to farm tractors. These postage stamps and coins have made up the bulk of his offerings.

On 28th August 2004 Prince Leonard will celebrate his 78th birthday in Hutt River.

Website for Hutt River Province Principality can be viewed at

http://www.hutt-river.org/

http://www.huttriver.net/

 

BrX#73 5 Dollars. Year: 1991. Weight: 26.32g. Metal: Copper-Nickel-Zinc. Diameter: 38.95 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: New Queensland Mint. Obverse: Desert Patrol. Boat, Airplane, Helicopter and Sea Bird. "In God we Trust" and "Liberty". Reverse: "Hutt River Province" on the top. Crown over value on native design. Mintage: N/A. Minted Years: One year type. Designer: Hal Reed.

Note:  I purchased my 5 Dollar 1991 cupro-nickel (CuNi) coin from Oded Paz. The coin belongs to one of the 45 Desert Storm coin set. 39mm in diameter with reeded edge and most probably designed by Hal Reed. My coin features US Coast Guard Support. This coin is minted by "New Queensland Mint". Most of the coins produced for Hutt River Province Principality from the beginning, that is from 1976 to present can be viewed on George Cruickshank's website (also known as Emperor George II of Atlantium) at http://www.imperial-collection.net/hutt_river_main.html. My coin is numbered as HRPC 075A, according to this website. Oded Paz has these coins to sell from time to time.

 
From 1976 to 1980, Hutt River Province coins were produced by Lombardo Mint, designed by Christine Norman. From 1984 to 1989, coins were produced by Johnson Matthey, designed by Hal Reed. Hal Reed continued to design coins produced by New Queensland Mint from 1989 to 1995. Coins from 2000 were produced by Wyndham Mint, designed by Allan Sterling.
 

 
Micro-Nations
 
Chiefa Coins