THE state government needs to come up with a system to ensure bushfire compensation is available so farmers and businesses can get back on their feet quickly, Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell said.
"This will avoid them having to turn to the legal system which is often costly, has minimal returns to the farmer and often takes years to get any results," Mrs Britnell said.
"We know we are going to have bushfires again and again. Let's stop leaving farmers hang out to dry. Insurance should remain a priority," she said.
State Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan said the best outcomes for power companies and lawyers were the least of his concerns.
"Heartbroken and frustrated farming families gathered at kitchen tables are what concern me," he said.
"In a state which constantly lives under bushfire threat, we need a better way to deal with the aftermath of fire and the losses suffered.
“Fires cannot always be blamed on companies and individuals, but the consequences, suffering and loss are always the same.”
Mr Riordan said families devastated by the St Patrick's Day fires needed surety around the compensation process.
"Courts may be fun and profitable for lawyers, but it is gut wrenching and expensive for the victim, who has already suffered enough," he said.
"All options need to be relayed to victims, and the redress system needs to ensure everyone has choice to resolve their loss in the way best suited to their circumstances”
“Individual law firms do not have a monopoly on goodwill when it comes to helping victims of fire. Any process that locks choice out for victims cannot be ideal.”
Mr Riordan said he had spoken in state parliament about the need for a quicker and fairer resolution to the losses suffered after fire.
“The community is telling me that they believe there is value in a class action process,” he said.
"But, they know after Black Saturday that the years of waiting and significant costs and charges incurred, losses to running the farm all amount to a very small return to victims for effort, stress, and heartache.
“There is a role for government here to step up and manage a compensation scheme like we see for car accidents and work safety.
“At times of immense stress and disaster, communities do not have the energy or time for a legal fight. Families just want to get life back to normal, as quickly as possible.
"Those that have the stomach for a fight are more than entitled to have a go, but most people just want their homes and families back as quickly as possible.”
Western Victoria MP James Purcell said he had met with farmers involved in the St Patrick’s Day fires and they had concerns that any class action would lead to a huge amount of legal fees.
"As a result of that meeting we went to the government in June and asked them to facilitate quick compensation through Powercor, but that hasn’t happened," he said.
"We are continuing to see what other options there are for the impacted farmers, but unfortunately the wheels of government turn very slowly.
"My heart goes out to these farmers, many are still living with the impacts of these fires every day."
Mr Purcell said there had to to be a better system.
He said bushfires happened every summer somewhere in Australia and the government should be legislating to support those impacted.