As set out in the Geographical Names Act 1966, the Board has the following powers and functions:
- assign names to places
- approve that a recorded name of a place shall be its geographical name
- alter a recorded name or a geographical name
- determine whether the use of a recorded name or a geographical name shall be discontinued
- adopt rules of orthography, nomenclature and pronunciation with respect to geographical names
- investigate and determine the form, spelling, meaning, pronunciation, origin and history of any geographical name
- the application of any geographical name with regard to position, extent or otherwise
- compile and maintain a vocabulary of Aboriginal words used or suitable for use in geographical names and to record their meaning and tribal origin
- compile and maintain a dictionary of geographical names with a record of their form, spelling, meaning, pronunciation, origin and history
- publish a gazetteer of geographical names
- inquire into and make recommendations on any matters relating to the names of places referred to it by the Minister
- compile, maintain and publish a list of road names.
The Board proactively seeks to abide by these statutory provisions through the adoption of nomenclature policies and procedures which are both nationally and internationally recognised.