Hutt River Province


Shire of Northampton

Place Number



Hutt River

Location Details

Rural Street No. 2704 Oglivie West Road, Yallabatharra

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1970

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Municipal Inventory Adopted 18 Nov 2005 Category 1B

Statement of Significance

Hutt River Province has high historic and social significance as the site of Australia's only independent principality.

Physical Description

The Principality of Hutt River is over 500 km north of Perth, Western Australia and is about 75 square km in size, consisting of approx 18,500 acres of mainly flat or undulating farmland. The small main townsite of Nain, contains buildings for tourism and administration as well as an inter-denominational chapel. The local resident population is small.


The Principality of Hutt River was declared an independent province in 1970 by Leonard Casley, in response to a dispute with the government of Western Australia over 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). Casley lodged a protest with the Governor of Western Australia, Sir Douglas Kendrew, however the Governor replied "no rectification of our Quota would be allowed". Casley reasoned that as the Governor acts as the Queen's representative, this made Her Majesty liable, in tort, for applying an unlawful imposition as the quota had not yet been passed into law. Casley lodged a claim under the Law of Tort for $52 million in the belief the claim would force a revision of the quota. Casley also resorted to the law of unjust enrichment and successfully seized government land surrounding his farm which he hoped would increase his quota. Two weeks later, the government introduced a bill into Parliament to "resume" their lands under compulsory acquisition. After approaches to the government to reconsider the acquisition bill failed, Casley and his associates resorted to International Law, which they felt allowed them to secede and declare their independence from the Commonwealth of Australia. 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 was claimed (via Royal Prerogative as the Queen's representative) to be a legally binding recognition. After Prime Minister William McMahon threatened him with prosecution for "infringement of territory," Casley styled himself "His Majesty Prince Leonard I of Hutt" to take advantage of the British Treason Act 1495 in which a self-proclaimed monarch could not be guilty of any offence against the rightful ruler and that anyone who interfered with that monarch's duties could be charged with treason. The governments recognition of Casley as "Administrator of Hutt River" had inadvertently made the Treason Act applicable and Casley continued to sell his wheat in open defiance of the quota. Although the law in this matter has since changed, the Australian Constitution prevented its retrospectivity and the Australian government has not taken any action against Hutt River since the declaration. Under Australian law, the federal government had two years to respond to Casley's declaration; Casley says that the failure to respond gave the province de facto autonomy on 21 April 1972. The Western Australian state government can still dispute the secession. Leonard Casley is considered to be the founding father of the micro-secession movement with dozens of micronations around the world established after being inspired by his success. The matriarch of the principality, "Princess" Shirley Casley, died on July 7, 2013. On 11th February 2017, Prince Leonard abdicated his position to his youngest some, Prince Graeme. Prince Leonard died on the 13th February 2019. Five brick buildings were constructed in the early 1970s. These included a Chapel, a souvernir arcade, administration/post office building a tearoom and a four unit motel. The Chapel of Nairn was officially blessed by the Rector of the Northampton Anglican Church on 29 August 1973. In April 2015, an educational shrine was constructed to honour the late Princess Shirley. For over 40 years tourists have flocked to Hutt River. Upon arrival visitors are met by Prince Leonard, or in his absence, another member of the Royal Family who will warmly greet and provide a guide through the Provinces main buildings. Basic facilities exist for campers or caravaners to camp for a night or two.


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Hyslop, R.C; "The Man - His Royal Highness Prince Leonard Sovereign of The Hutt River Province Principality". Undated

Place Type

Historic Town or district


Epoch General Specific
Original Use OTHER Other

Creation Date

30 Apr 2007

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

01 Nov 2019


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