In April 1970 a farmer, Leonard Casley, had an argument with the Western Australian Government about wheat quotas. Wheat quotas limiting a farmers production years later were removed but at the time Leonard was impati
ent so he declared his farm of 4000 hectares an independent principality. He crowned himself His Majesty Prince Leonard 1 of the Hutt River Province. Holding to the British Treason Act of 1495 Hutt River succeeded from Australia and remained, in the Prince’s mind at least, loyal subjects of Queen Elizabeth II. For decades the Principality issued its own coins, stamps and passports, refused to pay Australian Government taxes and became a quirky tourist attraction.
The Australian Government never accepted this declaration. No other country in the world ever recognised Hutt’s independence. Tax notices continued to pile up. After abdicating his crown last year Prince Leonard died on 13 February 2019. On 31 January 2020 the Province was closed to tourists and this week was formall
I am tempted to say this could only have happened in Western Australia but as a temporary, captive resident of this remote and independent minded state, it might be wiser if I didn’t. The Australian Tax Office has issued back tax notices for almost three million dollars which means that Prince Leopold’s successor, his son Graham, has to foot the bill. It all goes to prove those words written in 1795 by Benjamin Franklin
Our new Constitution is now established and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
The events of this year remind us that certainty is almost always a mirage. In the face of uncertainty we desperately cling to hope. A hop
e that cradles uncertainty lightly. A hope that hangs on in the midst of the storm. A hope that waits for a break in the clouds. A hope that trusts the sun will shine again.
We can fight the system and declare independence, or we can band together with co-operation, patience and hope and ride out the storm.
So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18