Restricted Use of Telstra Rope Print E-mail


In January 2016 an incident occurred in Queensland involving Telstra type rope, resulting in a range of injuries to young people. While the activity was at a Queensland Scout facility it did not involve any Scouts.

Telstra rope, sometimes called Parramatta rope due to its blue and yellow colouring, is more appropriately known as a polypropylene, or plastic rope. Other variations of this type of rope are generally available in a range of sizes and colours at hardware stores.

Workplace Health and Safety Qld (WHSQ) has investigated the incident and has provided advice to Scouts Queensland on the appropriate use of this type of rope. The primary concern is its use on ‘weight bearing’ objects.

As a result of this advice Scouts NSW has now placed similar restrictions on the use of polypropylene ropes.

This type of rope is not to be used for any activity where there is a likelihood of any major weight bearing being placed on the rope. Examples of this include (but are not restricted to):

  • Rock activities
  • Pioneering towers
  • Flying fox construction
  • Scaffolding
  • Securing of large items that may become wind affected (e.g. jumping castles, pontoons, tents, dining flies etc.)

The rope is suitable for use on minor weight bearing activities. This includes:

  • Clothes lines
  • Camp gadgets
  • Boundary fencing between campsites
  • Low level pioneering projects (e.g. tables, chairs etc. used on camp)
  • General knot tying and games
  • Securing of small items where there is no likelihood of those items being affected by large wind gusts.

Guidance to assist members in determining the appropriate rope for activities can be found in the following available documentation:

  • Field Book for Australian Scouting 2008 Chap 18
  • Pioneering Principles John Thurman 1962
  • Pioneering Projects John Thurman 1961

If you have any questions please direct them to Warren Goodall, Chair of the ScoutSafe Committee.

Please pass the above on to members of your Teams as soon as possible.


Scouts NSW

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