Powercor has had all but one charge dropped in relation to the St Patrick's Day bushfires in March 2018, leaving one victim "dumbfounded".
The electricity giant appeared in Warrnambool Magistrates Court this week where five charges of failing to operate and maintain its network were struck out.
The charges related to two incidents: The Terang/Cobden fire that was due to clashing conductors in High Street, Terang, and The Sisters fire at Garvoc which resulted from a power pole snapping.
All of the charges relating to The Sisters fire, which wiped out at least two houses, 4000 hectares and stock, were struck out.
Powercor will plead guilty to a remaining charge of failing to minimise risk of bushfire.
That charge relates to the supply network at Terang's High Street where a failure led to conductors clashing and causing molten metal to fall to the ground and light-up the area under the conductors.
More than 20 homes were destroyed in the fire, which was a result of Powercor's failure to ensure the conductors were adequately separated.
Jack Kenna, who lost 60 hectares (150 acres) of pasture at his property at The Sisters, said he was left dumbfounded and disappointed.
"You shouldn't have to wake up to something like that," he said.
"If we have to put up with a third-world system like this, and something like these fires happen, you've got nowhere to go.
"If you've got a crook fence and a cow gets out onto the road, you're liable if it kills somebody or writes somebody's car off but Powercor won't be held to account and that's the biggest trouble."
Mr Kenna said he knew the south-west community which lost so much during the fires three years ago would be disheartened by the result.
"But I'm pleased that a charge remains. It would have been a tragedy if they didn't prosecute (Powercor) for that. That was a serious breach that went within an inch or two of burning the whole town," he said.
"You've got a substation and a town with about 2000 people and that infrastructure should have been looked after better than they did."
Mr Kenna said he hoped the future would see Energy Safe Victoria "regulate and regulate hard if they need to".
"This sort of stuff can't happen again," he said.
"What happened here was unacceptable. Powercor knows that, the government knows that and ESV knows that, and that's the bottom line.
"There's more than this court case and hopefully down the track we will have governments, whether Liberal or Labor, that hold regulators to account."
The energy giant will appear in court again on December 13 for a plea hearing.
A Powercor spokesman said the company was satisfied with the outcome.
"We strongly contend the necessary safety processes and procedures to maintain the network were followed, as approved by ESV at the time," he said.
"We accept the clearance distance between powerlines on High Street Terang was not adequate to prevent the powerlines clashing in the high winds experienced on March 17, 2018.
"The 2018 fires in the south-west region were devastating and we acknowledge the impact it has had on the community."
It comes after a week-long committal hearing where the court heard from Energy Safe Victoria work practice advisor Robert Oldfield, Terang hobby farmer Lauren Benallack and Elizabeth Kenna, Jack's wife, whose property is where the power pole landed at The Sisters.
The hearing was initially expected to run through to mid-December.
The Powercor spokesman said that after the fires, the electricity giant immediately conducted an "extensive and detailed review of our processes and have strengthened how we safely operate our electricity network".
He said Powercor had been reporting on the progress of the works regularly and that ESV had reviewed and accepted their improved pole inspection and management program.
The case was the first of its kind under the Electricity Safety Act, with ESV laying charges against Powercor 18 months after the fires.
ESV chairperson Marnie Williams said the fires were a "traumatic event for the local community".
"Property was damaged and livestock destroyed. It is the duty of every major electricity company to keep the community safe from bushfire danger caused by the failure of their assets," she said.
"Energy Safe Victoria has held Powercor to account regarding the Terang fire and will not hesitate to hold other power companies to account for failing to manage and operate their electricity assets safely."
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