AFTER almost a decade Sharon Weber has "finally got justice".
The Gerogery mother's life went up in flames on December 17, 2009 and has been fighting to rebuild it ever since.
On Wednesday she finally closed that chapter.
Ms Weber was awarded damages of $104,400 plus interest in the Supreme Court of Appeal for the destruction of her property due to a fire that originated in the Walla tip.
The Greater Hume Shire Council originally won in the Supreme Court with the primary judge finding a duty of care was owed but did not not accept a cause of the fire had been identified, or the failure to take precautions had caused Ms Weber's loss.
"It has been a roller coaster and definitely not an easy time," Ms Weber said.
"It is just finally over - it has been a 10-year battle and there was always a weight on your shoulders.
"We can finally start planning for the future, whatever that may hold."
The Court of Appeal decision was a unanimous one in favour of Ms Weber who said the council had a "duty of care".
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"Since the fire, nothing has changed so now hopefully this decision will prompt them to make changes and ensure this doesn't happen again," Ms Weber said.
The court found the council owed a duty of care which extended to those affected by the fire, and this duty was breached by the failure to take specific precautions.
"The council was not subject to a standard requiring a high level of unreasonableness to be demonstrated, as it was not exercising a special statutory power," the court summary said.
"Further, in considering the available unallocated funds of the council, the court found taking the precautions would not have been overly burdensome."
Greater Hume Shire Council released a statement which said the "Court of Appeal made findings the management of the landfill led to the fire".
"Since the formation of Greater Hume Council in May 2004 the number of landfills in the shire has been reduced from seven to two," a spokeswoman said.
"At the time of the fire, council contributed more than $350,000 and coordinated volunteers to enable emergency work to be carried out on repairing and replacing boundary fences.
"No further comment will be made at this time."
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