Melbourne's coronavirus curfew could be reinstated as quickly as it was taken away, say lawyers challenging the validity of the scrapped restriction.
Mornington Peninsula cafe owner and aspiring Liberal MP Michelle Loielo fears the 9pm to 5am curfew will be reinstated, and has pushed ahead with a legal claim that it breaches her human rights.
In a Supreme Court trial on Wednesday, her lawyer Jason Harkess argued that it was important the case go ahead with priority, while those behind the curfew argued the urgency went away with the restriction.
A curfew had applied in metropolitan Melbourne from September 13 until 5am on Monday as part of stage four restrictions ordered by Victoria's Chief Health Officer.
Those rules were signed off by Associate Professor Michelle Giles, who is the subject of Ms Loielo's action.
"When the premier announced its revocation on Sunday he also said at the same time 'we don't want to have to take any backward steps in this'," Dr Harkess said.
"The reality is a third wave is a real possibility and as long as the state of emergency continues to exist, Ms Loielo's rights can be taken away with a curfew as quickly as they were given back."
He said Ms Loielo never used to fear a curfew, but does now and continues to live in uncertainty about whether her liberties and freedoms would be preserved.
Prof Giles' lawyers have challenged whether Ms Loielo even has standing to make the challenge now that the curfew has been scrapped.
They compared the case to journalist Annika Smethurst's High Court case on the legality of police raids on her home under laws that had been repealed by the time the case was heard.
"Because the section has been repealed, and even though she remained under threat of criminal charges, she had no interest that set her apart from interests generally," solicitor-general Kristen Walker said.
In this case, without Ms Loielo admitting or being prosecuted for breaching the curfew she too had no interest over and above millions of others affected by the restriction, she said.