A survey of the practices of obstetricians in the management of premature labour was carried out. A questionnaire consisting of 16 clinical problems was drawn up. All Fellows and Members of the RACOG resident in Australia were surveyed by mail and 707 (74.3% of those in active practice) returned completed questionnaires. Results were analysed by State, seniority and practice size. The survey revealed many differences in management even in situations tested by clinical trials (e.g. premature rupture of membranes, use of steroids). There was uncertainty about when to attempt inhibition with tocolytics. Obstetricians had a more pessimistic view concerning neonatal survival than recent published neonatal results indicate. The role of chorioamnionitis seemed undervalued. There were many differences when results were analysed by State and seniority.