Design flood estimation, though the first and vital steep in designing many civil engineering works, is not wll applied. Reasons are suggested. The meaning of design frequency is addressed, noting that failures are the design intention. Suggestions are made concerning the choice of design frequency in the light of the meaning of the design frequency, risk to life and legal responsibilities. Alternatives to structural design and the need for economic analysis to be part of the design process are proposed. Present needs for the development of design methods are examined and methods of short term development are suggested. As most current research is not oriented towards the design situation, the urgent need for one or more groups to be constituted to develop and disseminate improved design flood procedures for the whole of Ausatralia is highlighted.