A telephone survey with 604 men and women without history of colorectal cancer (CRC) (age 50-74 years) explored knowledge of, attitudes toward, and intention to screen for CRC using faecal occult blood tests (FOBT) in a rural Australian population. Overall, 53% intended to participate in and 86% would follow a doctor's recommendation for FOBT screening. In contrast, only 18% had ever had a FOBT, and fewer than 60% of those with high-risk family history had undergone appropriate screening for CRC. Prior use of FOBT (OR=3.2), high perceived susceptibility to CRC (OR=2.4), belief in the importance of screening despite the absence of symptoms (OR=2.1) were positively and older age (OR = 0.5) was negatively related to screening intention in multivariate logistic regression analysis. A doctor's recommendation improved screening intention among those who never tested for CRC before but believe in the importance of early treatment. This study highlights the lack of compliance with standard CRC screening recommendations in Australia and provides evidence for the importance of continued educational efforts, with the particular emphasis on older adults and the medical community.