Prince gives in
By DANIEL SANKEY
A SELF-proclaimed prince who refused to pay his rates has decided to cough up.
"Prince'' Trevor Acworth was thrown out of an Ipswich City Council meeting last week after the council decided to sell his self-styled Ripley "principality'' to cover rates arrears of almost $14,000.
At the meeting, Mr Acworth ? whose phone was engaged when the QT attempted to contact him several times yesterday ? labelled councillors frauds and accused Cr Paul Tully of defaming him in front of the gallery.
In a previous interview with the QT, Mr Acworth said he did not recognise council on the grounds that local government was not mentioned in the constitution.
As a result, Mr Acworth has not paid four years' worth of rates for the 11-hectare Principality of Acworth.
Through his own self-appointed Supreme Court, he declared council's rates notices were illegal.
Cr Tully attacked what he called the "phantom kingdom'' for its failure to pay rates, saying the bogus principality was being subsidised by the city's law-abiding ratepayers.
He called for the property to be auctioned under the Local Government Act.
Yet yesterday, Cr Tully was quick to congratulate the principality for "recognising the laws of Queensland and Australia'' and letting "commonsense prevail after four years of legal prevarication''.
Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale agreed last night, saying he was "pleased to welcome the Principality of Acworth back to Ipswich''.
"It's good to see ? I just wish this had happened four years ago so we didn't have to go through this anguish,'' Cr Pisasale said.
"But my office is always open to Mr Acworth ? he's welcome to come in for a cup of coffee to see how we can strengthen his (bed and breakfast) business.