ACIAR was established by the passing of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Act (ACIAR Act) in June 1982. The ACIAR Amendment Act 2007 has made changes to the governance arrangements of ACIAR as part of the Government’s response to the Review of Corporate Governance of Statutory Authorities and Officeholders (Uhrig report).

The ACIAR Act, proclaimed as Act No. 9 of 1982, was described as ‘An Act to encourage research for the purpose of identifying, or finding solutions, to, agricultural problems of developing countries’.

Our functions

ACIAR’s role is described in section five – Functions – of the ACIAR Act.

(a) to formulate programs and policies with respect to agricultural research for either or both of the following purposes:

(i) identifying agricultural problems of developing countries;

(ii) finding solutions to agricultural problems of developing countries;

(b) to commission agricultural research by persons or institutions (whether the research is to be conducted in Australia or overseas) in accordance with such programs and policies; and

(c) to communicate to persons and institutions the results of such agricultural research; and

(d) to establish and fund training schemes related to its research programs; and

(e) to conduct and fund development activities related to its research programs; and

(f) to fund international agricultural research centres.

In performing its functions with respect to agricultural research, the Centre shall have regard to the need for persons or institutions in developing countries to share in that research.

Nothing in this section authorises, or permits, the Centre to carry out research on its own behalf.

ACIAR operates under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).

In addition to operating under the PGPA Act ACIAR also operates under other relevant legislation, including the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Public Service Act 1999. These, and all other Australian Government legislation, can be accessed on the ComLaw home page