Papua New Guinean is an independent state. Before 1975, Papua belonged to Australia and even before that the north of Papua belonged to Germany and the south the UK. The Papua and New Guinea Act, passed in Australia in 1949, confirmed the administrative union of New Guinea and Papua under the title of 'The Territory of Papua and New Guinea' and placed it under the International Trusteeship System. The Act provided for a Legislative Council, a judicial organisation, a public service, and a system of local government. The first House of Assembly, which replaced the Legislative Council in 1963, opened on 8 June 1964. In 1972, the name of the territory was changed to Papua New Guinea and elections saw the formation of a ministry headed by Chief Minister Michael Somare, who pledged to lead the country to self-government and then to independence. Independence from Australia was proclaimed in 1975, and Somare became the first Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.