Monthly Archives: December 2018

End to compulsory APS retirement posed cost problems

The Keating government agreed to abolish forced retirements for its public servants despite the potentially escalating costs of keeping people in work after turning 65, newly-released cabinet documents reveal.
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Papers released on Monday by the National Archives of show the Labor government in 1995 grappled with possible growing compensation bills and voluntary redundancy costs that threatened to accompany any decision to remove compulsory retirements.

Prime Minister Paul Keating’s cabinet agreed in-principle to abolish the age limit for government employees, as long as new public service legislation was formed preventing bureaucrats keeping their jobs regardless of performance.

Paul Keating’s cabinet decided in-principle to support an end to compulsory retirement for public servants. Photo: David Bartho

New public service laws came into effect in 1999 removing compulsory retirement for public servants on the grounds of age, and last year 7 per cent of the bureaucracy’s workforce was aged more than 60.

The 1994-95 cabinet documents warned that potentially greater use of voluntary redundancies to rid agencies of staff who could no longer be forced to retire may add up to $26 million in costs between 1995 to 2020.

Ministers were also warned of greater costs if younger public servants were displaced by those aged over 65 as agencies downsized.

If roles identified in the future as redundant were occupied by staff over 65, 241 redundancies over the next five years could cost the government $9.3 million, ministers were told.

Potentially growing costs could make the compensation scheme for public servants unviable without change, adding up to $13 million per annum in premiums, and $10 million and compounding in outstanding liability for new claims.

Cabinet documents show the Keating government agreed to let public servants work past 65 on the same terms and conditions as other APS employees, except under a temporary arrangement that restricted superannuation payments and based their compensation on an income maintenance scheme managed by the federal workplace insurer Comcare.

The Public Service Commission in 1995 rubbished concerns about increased costs of redundancy payments flowing from the removal of the age 65 barrier.

“The inappropriate use of redundancy as a means of separating staff would be alleviated if more effective strategies for dealing with diminished efficiency and under-performance were developed,” it said in a submission.

The government’s move to abolish compulsory retirement came after the Office of International Law told it the arrangement did not meet its obligations under an international convention against workplace discrimination.

Its debate came after laws came into effect in 1994 prohibiting employers from sacking workers on the grounds of age.

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Kiama Woolies worker wins payout over angry bird attack

A spat over liability for a damaging bird attack at Kiama Village Shopping Centre has been decided in the Workers Compensation Commission.Woolworths has been ordered to compensatea staffer at its Kiama store after the woman’s eye was “severely injured” by a vicious swooping bird known to guard the entryway to the shopping complex.
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Anita Smithwas almost inside the Kiama Village Shopping Centre when the bird, a nativepeewee, set her in its sights onMay 14.

She required surgery in mid-July to repair the resulting injury, described in a compensation claim as an“inturned central part of the right eye flap”.

Ms Smith, acustomer service officer for the supermarket since 2010,was among at least10 people who required medical attention as a result of the bird’s attacks, according to an area ophthalmologist interviewed by Fairfax at the time.

Kiama council installed fake owls in a failed bid to to deter the bird.

In a decision handed down last month, the Workers Compensation Commission ordered the supermarket to pay Ms Smith almost $17,000 in lost wages. The sum was calculated after 25 weeks of reduced employment. The company must alsopay Ms Smith’s medical and rehabilitation bills.

The commission rejected Woolworths Ltd’s submissionthat the incident had nothing to do with Ms Smith’s employment.

Counsel for the supermarket had argued she was“not performing any work” at the time of the injury.

A Woolworths store manager had earlier denied liability, instead placing blame on centre management for not acting.

“Centre management had previously been informed regarding a number of bird attacks and chose to do nothing about this until this and other serious incidents happened”, the company countered, in its submission.

Ms Smith was en route to her workplace when she was attacked. Sheleft her car in the staff car park before walking along an open-air path towards the shopping centre’s automatic sliding doors.

The commission’s arbitrator, John Harris, found an employerdoes not escape liability due to the fault of another party“in this case, the apparent failure by thecentre management to do something about the dangerous peewee”.

Ms Smith’s employment brought her to the point where the injury occurredand that the injury“arose out of the employment”, Mr Harris found.

“It is extremely unlikely that Ms Smith would have been attacked by the peewee at that time, had she not been in the course of her employment.”

The commission noted Kiama council had madeattempts–ultimately futile–to deter the bird by placing two imitation owls in the area.

The bird was eventually destroyed after Kiama council sought a permit from National Parks and Wildlife to cull the bird.

Council workers cordoned off the area before the bird was shot dead on June 20.

Illawarra Mercury

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Ash Barty suffers shock loss in Brisbane

Ash Barty has put on a brave face after her shock defeat in the first round of the Brisbane International, with the world number 17 and tournament eight seed humbled by red-hot Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko.
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???Barty had a stunning year in 2017 and entered this summer as ‘s highest-ranked player. But she crashed back to earth with a decent thud after losing 6-3 6-2 in front of friends and family at her hometown event.

The 21-year-old from Ipswich was chasing the game from the outset as 28-year-old Tsurenko, ranked 42, landed 63 per cent of her first serves and dished out five aces.

Barty could find a home for just 53 per cent of her serves, while she was outgunned on the baseline as her timing deserted her in front of an arena that grew quieter and quieter as the result became inevitable.

“She did play very well and tonight, for me, the polish wasn’t quite there. Any players in the top 50, when you’re not playing your best, they’re going to punish you,” Barty said.

“It’s obviously disappointing. It’s not the way I envisaged my first tournament of the year. There were flashes of what we wanted, tonight I couldn’t quite string it all together.”

Barty hasn’t been accustomed to playing at home with such lofty expectations. She started last year ranked 271 in the world and wasn’t sure what she wanted out of the sport. Prior to that, she played a season of WBBL cricket for the Brisbane Heat.

Incredibly, she was the top-ranked n woman by October and ended the year ranked 17, having defeated five top 10 players along the way.

She said that success would ensure she didn’t dwell on her defeat. She is still alive in the doubles draw in Brisbane with partner Casey Dellacqua and will also play in Sydney ahead of the n Open.

“I didn’t work hard all last year and work my butt off during the off-season to spit the dummy after one match. We get back on the doubles court tomorrow, focus on that and then move onto Sydney.

“I love playing here. I’m disappointed I couldn’t do a bit better. But I try and approach every match exactly the same.”

She admitted there were some ‘butterflies’ before the match but insisted it was the brilliance of Tsurenko that got the better of her, not the occasion.

“A few butterflies, first match of the season, at home, but it was excitement more than nerves. It wasn’t quite there for me tonight. That’s sport.

“It’s a little bit different (being in the spotlight) but I prepare for every single match exactly the same. It’s exciting playing at home but we’ve still got a few weeks left in the summer and we’re gearing up for the n Open.”

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Change is coming, but some retailers aren’t ready for slavery laws

Some of ‘s major retailers are woefully unprepared for new laws likely to be brought before parliament that will force them to show how they ensure their products are not made with slave labour.
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A joint federal parliament committee last month called on the government to introduce a Modern Slavery Act, including mandatory supply chain reporting for large companies.

The committee’s chair, Liberal MP for Dunkley Chris Crewther, said he was “quite confident” legislation would be introduced to parliament in 2018, and warned that some companies were not doing enough to vet how their goods were made.

The committee recommended that businesses with annual revenue of more than $50 million should have to disclose where their products come fromand detail what steps they took to ensure slavery and labour abuse did not existing in their supply chains.

A list of companies that have to report and which ones complied would be made public, and after two years the government would start to name and shame companies that failed to report.

The committee called for financial penalties for businesses that did not comply, and for companies that failed to act on evidence of exploitation.

“I do realise that for larger companies, if the penalty is $100 or $1000 or $10,000 it may not be a disincentive in and of itself, [but] if that is public knowledge that’s not a good look for a large company trying to build a public image,” Mr Crewther said.

Over 40 million people around the world are today estimated to be victims of “modern slavery”, including forced labour, bonded labour, and human trafficking. ‘Down the rabbit hole’

Retailers – already under pressure about “sweat shops” since more than 1110 people were killed in the Rana Plaza factory collapsed in Bangladesh in 2013 – would be significantly affected by the proposed rules, according to n Retailers Association chairman Russel Zimmerman.

He said the peak body would push for “light touch” regulation that would allow retailers to simply ask their suppliers or the immediate next point along their own supply chains to guarantee their products are clean.

“You shouldn’t need to keep going down the rabbit hole,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“We don’t want these regulations to make retailers go to the shirt manufacturer, to the cotton manufacturer, to the button manufacturer, to the supplier of the material, to whoever else it may be.”

Carolyn Kitto, a director at anti-slavery group Stop The Traffik, said that many large companies’ existing transparency initiatives would already fulfil what would be required of them under the reporting laws.

The group has spent more than four years lobbying fashion retailers to disclose their plans and polices to mitigate labour abuse in their products.

While some businesses have been responsive, others have refused and resorted to legal threats against Stop The Traffik.

“They’ve got some catching up to do,” Ms Kitto said.

She said while some businesses were concerned about the cost of complying, “there’s going to be way more of a cost if you don’t do the right thing and human slavery is found in your supply chain”.

Mr Zimmerman said there would be positives from mandatory reporting, including stores being able to promote the fact their products were ethically sourced.

Mr Crewther said he wanted to see voluntary reporting for companies under the threshold for businesses that wanted to trumpet their ethical credentials.

He said the laws would create a more even playing field by ensuring business were not using worker abuse and slavery to undercut competitors on price.

The proposed new laws borrow heavily from Britain’s Modern Slavery Act introduced in 2015, which has been criticised as a toothless tiger because there are no penalties for failing to report.

“If most of our recommendations are adopted I think we’ll be world-leading in this area,” Mr Crewther said.

The parliamentary committee heard of abuses taking part in industries in the Asia Pacific region including garment manufacturing, palm oil cultivation, and on finishing ships.

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Doctor had no ‘moral responsibility’ to leave money to wife who persecuted him: court

NSW Supreme Court judge Paul Brereton conceded it was “not an easy case, and I confess that judicial minds may differ on it” when he awarded Magdalena Lodin $750,000 from the estate of her former husband.
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He was right.

The NSW Court of Appeal has overturned the judgment in favour of Ms Lodin, who divorced Dr Mohammad Masoud Lodin more than two decades ago and embarked on what the court described as years of “relentless persecution” of the deceased.

Acting Justice Ronald Sackville said the evidence in the case did not justify Ms Lodin’s family provision claim at the expense of her daughter Rebecca, the sole beneficiary of her father’s estate, which was worth more than $5 million.

Ms Lodin’s persecution of her ex-husband included threatening in a letter to “make what was left” of his “wretched life not worth living” and told him he would “feel the wrath of Allah”.

Ms Lodin, who lived with her former husband for 19 months before their separation in 1990, also made allegations of sexual misconduct by Dr Lodin to the police and the NSW Health Department Complaints Unit.

Justice Sackville also said the allegations made by Ms Lodin against her ex-husband had not been proven, apart from the claims of professional misconduct.

He said Ms Lodin’s vindictive behaviour towards Dr Lodin should count against her entitlement for money from his estate because there was no evidence it was a result of psychiatric illness or caused by the deceased’s conduct.

Justice Sackville said a matrimonial financial settlement made by the Family Court in 1992 was “an important consideration counting against her claim”.

“The starting point is that the marriage effectively ended a quarter of a century before the hearing of [Ms Lodin’s] claim,” he said. “The relationship between the deceased and [Ms Lodin] lasted for less than six years and the marriage itself lasted only 19 months.”

He also said Dr Lodin had “meticulously complied” with his obligations to provide financial support for his daughter while his ex-wife “was not entirely honest in her claims for support”.

Ms Lodin’s financial needs were, in part, the result of legal action taken against her ex-husband, who also was not to blame for the injuries she had suffered in a series of motor vehicle accidents, which had impacted her ability to work.

“The deceased cannot be said to have come under a moral duty to provide for the respondent because of injuries entirely unrelated to the parties’ relationship,” the judge said.

The judge found that Dr Lodin did not have a moral responsibility to leave money to his ex-wife simply because the estate, worth more than $5 million, was large.

Ms Lodin had been responsible for raising their daughter Rebecca but the deceased “had been ‘punctilious’ in complying with his obligation to pay not insubstantial amounts of child support”, Justice Sackville said.

The judge also noted that Ms Lodin had refused to allow her ex-husband access to their daughter, which he said was “not irrelevant” in determining Dr Lodin’s moral responsibility to leave money to his ex-wife.

“The fact that some may think the outcome unfair (if it be a fact) does not establish that there are factors which warrant the former spouse making a family provision application,” he said.

Phillip McGowan, the director of De Groots wills and estate lawyers, said the Court of Appeal had decided the primary judge had made an error in saying it was “unbecoming” for Rebecca to inherit her father’s entire $5 million estate.

“I think it is a good decision as it reflects society’s expectation that, in most cases, a final property settlement in the Family Court will be the end of any entitlement of a former spouse to provision from the estate of his/her deceased ex-spouse,”. Mr McGowan said.

“Whilst the law does give the right to a former spouse to make a family provision claim, there needs to be compelling reasons for the claim to succeed as society expects there to be finality in financial property settlements and a ‘clean break’ between the former spouses.”

Melissa Lammers, the solicitor director of Shire Legal, said: “There was a lot of uproar earlier this year when the initial decision was handed down.

“In our own experience, estate planning clients, fearful of claims being made by former spouses, were more inclined to insert statements into their wills as to why their former spouses were excluded from the will.

“However, the appellant court’s decision is now in line with the commonly held understanding by (and expectations of) divorcing spouses (and the community in general) that once a property settlement is reached ‘in full and final settlement of all claims between them’, then no further claims can be made.”

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Jordan Thompson gone in Brisbane first round as luck runs out against Americans

Sydneysider Jordan Thompson was unable to replicate his Davis Cup heroics as he returned to Pat Rafter Arena on Monday night, losing in the first round to rising American star Jared Donaldson at the Brisbane International.
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Brisbane had been the scene of one of Thompson’s career highlights when he stunned America’s best player Jack Sock in the Davis Cup tie in April, setting up an n victory. Thompson would later knock Sock out of the US Open in another boilover.

But his luck against Americans would run out against Donaldson, the 21-year-year old from Rhode Island currently ranked 54 in the world. His height, crisp baseline play and superior serve would be the difference as he took the clash in straight sets 6-2 6-4.

It was a disappointing night for the 23-year-old Thompson (94), who entered the first round with fond memories of the arena and would have hoped to get over the line in front of a home crowd that tried to rally him time and again.

He looked off his game from the opening rallies of the first set and despite trying desperately to fight his way out of the fog, could never generate any meaningful rhythm or momentum throughout the contest.

There were issues with his serve all night, including a number of foot faults, while Donaldson was able to use his quicker first serve to far better effect as light breezes swirled around the inside of the centre court.

Thompson was slow out of the blocks, trailing 4-1 in the opening set before finally being broken three times as Donaldson stepped up his attack to take it 6-2.

The n showed signs of life in the second set as Donaldson starting to lose his cool, engaging in a heated argument with the umpire over a line call before regrouping to regain control of his temper and contest.

Thompson pushed him late but could never land the blow that would have taken it to a deciding set. Donaldson will now meet the winner of the match between Denis Istomin and seventh seed Damir Dzumhur.

While Thompson departed on Monday, Matthew Ebden flew the local flag in the men’s draw, setting up a round two clash with Nick Kyrgios, who was given a pass through the opening bracket.

Donaldson is regarded as one of the leading hopes for an American resurgence on the men’s tour. Tour veterans Sock, John Isner and Sam Querrey are all in the ATP top 20 but none of them have been able to break through for a Grand Slam title.

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Wanderers buy Gombau some time with vital victory over City

A new year and perhaps a new era for Western Sydney Wanderers, who bounced back from a humiliating defeat to Newcastle Jets to claim their first home win of the season under the tenure of coach Josep Gombau, beating Melbourne City 2-1 at ANZ Stadium on Monday night.
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It was a result that took considerable pressure off the shoulders of the under-fire coach but fell short of exonerating him from the recent poor run of results. There were signs of his “process” coming to life with a better command of possession but there was still little evidence of that translating into genuine opportunities and systemic attacking threats. A positive result bought him more time in the job but the win was one first and foremost for the players.

For the first time since Gombau took charge, the players showed the commitment and determination expected from their fans and made clear during the week. Much of that was lead by Oriol Riera and Vedran Janjetovic, whose individual performances heavily influenced the result, if not decided it.

The Spanish striker scored one and set up another in a true leader’s display while the Wanderers’ goalkeeper made a definitive penalty save to secure Gombau’s first home win.

However, the new dawn didn’t start brightly for the Wanderers, who lost marquee Alvaro Cejudo with a calf injury in the opening minutes of the match that could signal a lengthy stint on the sidelines.

“Looks not good, honestly,” Gombau said. “When he feel it was in his calf, he needed to go off straight away???. Now we need to make the scan to see exactly but it does not look good.”

For the most part, those made for frustrating viewing. It took 19 minutes for the Wanderers to register their first attempt on goal and when that finally arrived, it was in vain, harmless yet still applauded by a small crowd starving for action.

For the most part, the Wanderers were happy controlling possession in non-threatening areas. Despite having their share of the ball, they soon found themselves trailing in a match again.

A powerfully driven cross from City forward Nathaniel Atkinson fell to the feet of striker Ross McCormack, who made no mistake in calmly finishing from a metre out to make it 1-0 for the visitors.

That lead lasted just five minutes. Haphazard defending was seized upon immediately by the Wanderers when marquee Riera provided the desperately needed influence up-front. The Spanish striker latched on to a cross inside the box with his back to goal and a quick shot on the turn saw the hosts draw level in the 30th minute.

Riera turned provided minutes later, slipping a clever pass to Mark Bridge, who made no mistake with a well-weighted finish into the far corner of the net, giving Western Sydney a lead that not much earlier appeared to be well beyond them. More importantly, it breathed confidence into the team.

Nobody showed that better than goalkeeper Janjetovic. After City were awarded a penalty for a clumsy foul by Robert Cornthwaite on Nick Fitzgerald, the Wanderers’ goalkeeper pulled off a superb save low to his left.

A Josh Risdon injury in the 52nd minute soured the Wanderers’ victory. The introduction of youngster Daniel Arzani added some life into the City attack and hopes of drawing level but a late save from Janjetovic to deny Luke Brattan from an injury-time free kick sealed the match for the Wanderers.

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Redfern needs major upgrades before 2020

Platform 4 at Redfern Station, the Western line after earlier signal failure near Strathfieldsmh newsphotos Ben RushtonMarch 15 2012Within a couple of years, about 10,000 Commonwealth Bank employees will begin work at n Technology Park, where the majority will be expected to catch a train to the adjacent Redfern Station.
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But Redfern Station fails, for most commuters, to provide lifts or meet accessibility standards. With the impending arrival of the bank in 2020, this fact has helped prompt a flurry of meetings and attempted deals to try to upgrade the station.

The refusal of successive governments to upgrade Redfern Station, which is the seventh busiest in Sydney, has been echoed by repeated indications that, someday, something may be done.

“One old rail person told me it was almost someone’s full-time job to work on plans for Redfern Station,” said Geoff Turnbull, a convenor of community group REDWatch

Mr Turnbull’s group has collated pictures of proposed upgrades to Redfern Station from 1944. Plans were drawn up in the mid-1990s for underground concourses, while the former Labor government said it would fund upgrade designs in 2006.

In 2013, then transport minister Gladys Berejiklian broke with tradition by announcing the government would install a lift at Redfern. That lift, completed in 2015, enables passengers travelling on only one line, the Inner West Line, to move from the station platform to concourse without using stairs or escalators.

Commuters can change for this platform at Central. But the lift does not directly service the station’s most heavily used lines, for instance the Western Line from Parramatta, or the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra lines.

“Anyone who is coming into Sydney University or the new CBA or other developments on those lines aren’t going to be able to use that lift,” said Mr Turnbull.

In the past year there has been steady contact between representatives from Transport for NSW, developer Mirvac, which won the right to build three new buildings at Technology Park, and the Commonwealth Bank, Mirvac’s anchor tenant.

One result has been that a $494,000 tender was issued to engineering firm Jacobs Group in July for geotechnical surveying to enable the “rigorous planning, design and construction of future works” at Redfern. That contract is to run until the end of 2018.

“Future works to provide lift access to all platforms at Redfern are subject to practical construction considerations and detailed environmental assessment,” said a spokeswoman for Transport for NSW.

A spokeswoman for the bank, meanwhile, said it had been “working with Mirvac and relevant government agencies to explore how accessibility to the site, and known issues with Redfern Station, can be improved for our people and the community prior to our move”.

A Mirvac spokeswoman said: “Mirvac is aware of accessibility issues at Redfern Station and is in constant dialogue with a number of parties, including the state government and its agencies, on how to improve the access at the station.”

Just over 50 per cent of Sydney’s train stations meet disability standards. The Premier, Ms Berejiklian, said last week it would not be decades but “years” before all were upgraded.

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Man charged over alleged Marion Bay Falls Festival assault

A 32-year-old man has been charged in relation to an alleged assault at the Marion Bay Falls Festival.
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Tasmania Police arrested the Carlton man on Sunday night, December 31.

Detective Constable Damien Mcvilly confirmed the incident was the third indecent assault complaint the police received during the Falls Festival.

Detective Constable Damien Mcvilly confirmed the incident was the third indecent assault complaint the police received during the Falls Festival. Photo: supplied

A woman was allegedly grabbed on the breast about 9.30pm on New Year’s Eve in the mosh pit of the main stage and the incident was witnessed by several people.

The woman took a photo on her phone after the alleged assault, which she showed to security.

A man was later identified and taken into custody, Detective Constable Mcvilly said.

“He was arrested at the scene and taken back to Hobart where he was charged and bailed,” he said.

The man was charged with assault with indecent intent and will appear in court at a later date.

Police were disappointed by the reported incidents of inappropriate behaviour, however patrons were generally well behaved and in good spirit.

It follows a complaint by a 19-year-old woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted on Friday about 9.30pm and a sexual assault complaint made by an underage girl on Saturday evening.

The Falls Festival at Marion Bay was beset by reports of sexual harassment and indecent assault in 2016.

Five separate allegations were made to police about incidents during the three-day event.

Police still encourage anyone with information about a sexual assault and/or other related behaviour to contact investigators at Bellerive CIB on (03) 6173 2318 or anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at crimestopperstas苏州夜总会招聘.au

The Examiner

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‘No point in trying to close the borders’: Aussie flu hits Britain

Britons have been steeling themselves against the dreaded “Aussie flu” as the H3N2 strain responsible for ‘s soaring flu rates spreads to Britain.
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British tabloids have dubbed the H3N2 strain the “Killer Aussie Flu”, and the “Lurgy from Down Under” after the influenza A subtype was largely responsible for ‘s brutal flu season.

The Mirror has also reported the strain had “claimed its first victims” in Ireland, though few deaths have been reported, and The Telegraph claimed the “n flu has hit Scotland”, clogging up the National Health Service help line with thousands of calls in the days leading up to Christmas.

British health authorities who closely followed ‘s soaring flu rates were bracing for the arrival of H3N2 (an influenza A strain), and the potential for outbreak of a similar magnitude.

The NHS is urging the public to take advantage of the seasonal vaccination but have conceded the same vaccine formulation used in was less effective than first hoped. The vaccines created in March and distributed in September take six months to produce the quantity needed for a national population.

Public health experts said it was almost inevitable that the strain would spread through Britain during the northern winter, The Express reported.

Professor Robert Dingwall at Nottingham Trent University warned the H3N2 strain could trigger the worst flu season in Britain in 50 years.

“There is no point in trying to close the borders. It’s almost inevitable this will come to us. This is potentially the worst winter since the Hong Kong flu outbreak of 1968,” Professor Dingwall said.

NHS chief Simon Stevens told an NHS Expo: “The signs from and New Zealand are that it has been a heavy flu season and many of the hospitals down there have struggled to cope. I’m confident this is not just the biggest on record but the largest flu outbreak we’ve seen for some time.”

Britain will likely contend with both influenza A and B strains through the winter months, with surveillance reports suggesting the subtypes were fairly evenly matched towards the end of December.

‘s 2017 flu season was the most potent since the 2009 pandemic. More than 233,400 confirmed cases were recorded nationally in 2017 (more than 180,000 during the flu season), two-and-a-half times the number of cases in 2016.

A total of 745 people with confirmed cases died, compared to the five-year average of 176 deaths, though the true mortality rate is likely to have been higher.

The H3N2 strain accounted for 55 per cent of all lab-confirmed cases.

The infection was no more serious than in previous years, but the seasonal flu vaccine offered low protection against the dominant H3N2 strain, which had mutated since the vaccine was formulated.

The current egg-base technology used to create vaccines takes six months to produce the quantities needed for a national vaccination program.

The elderly were particularly susceptible to the H3N2 virus, compounded by the low level of protectiveness offered by the vaccine and their weaker immune response.

A spokeswoman for Public Health England told The Express that the authority was “continuing to prepare for all scenarios this winter and this includes the implementation of the vaccine programme”.

“Our vaccines contain the strains which the World Health Organisation recommends we vaccinate against, based on the best available evidence.”

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