A JUDGE has approved settlement in a class action against electricity distributor Powercor over a Black Saturday bushfire in southwest Victoria.
The February 2009 fire in the Pomborneit area consumed about 1300ha of farmland, including a large part of a dairy farm owned by the lead plaintiff in the class action, Terry Place.
In December the parties reached a settlement estimated to be worth $10 million.
Justice David Beach today approved the settlement, saying it was fair.
"Having considered all of the evidence led and tendered in this proceeding, I accept that there was only a relatively small risk of the plaintiff failing to establish a cause of action against the defendant,'' Justice Beach said in a judgment handed down in Warrnambool.
He said he had "no doubt that the settlement agreement is fair and reasonable as between the parties''.
Under the settlement, Powercor will pay victims 100 per cent of the losses they incurred as a result of the bushfire on February 7, 2009.
They will be reimbursed the full value of the property damaged, based on what it was worth on the day the fire hit.
Powercor will maintain its denial of legal liability for the fire.
Mr Place lost fencing and a large hay shed in the fire.
About 30 residents joined the class action.