Technical data on local CT practice in Western Australia were collected for five major CT providers using a self-completed questionnaire. The CTDIvol DLP and effective dose for each protocol were obtained and providers were ranked according to radiation burden for each clinical scenario. The mean, median, 75th percentile and standard deviation were calculated for both effective dose and DLP for each scenario and these values were compared with published data. CT utilisation data were used to estimate the attributable radiation dose to the WA population and the potential change in population annual effective dose according to the protocol used was estimated. We found that wide variations in technique and radiation dose exist across providers for similar examinations, producing a higher radiation burden than reported internationally. As expected, the CT protocol used dramatically affects the radiation dose received, and this has a significant effect on annual population dose. This study highlights the need for recognition and understanding of both the degree of variation in radiation dose across providers and the relatively high radiation burden afforded by protocols in use in Western Australia so that necessary dialogue can be launched for practitioner consensus on appropriate diagnostic reference levels in CT scanning. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.