The leader of an anti-lockdown group has appeared in court, accused of inciting protests that attracted thousands of people to breach Melbourne's COVID-19 restrictions.
Monica Smit, the managing director of Reignite Democracy Australia, successfully applied for bail on Wednesday, but when strict conditions were imposed by magistrate Luisa Bazzani, she refused to sign her bail papers.
It's alleged Smit encouraged more than 180,000 of her followers on social media to break Melbourne's lockdown rules by attending protests in the CBD.
The court heard 90 people attended a protest on August 11, in an event Smit described as a "flop", but 4000 people went to a protest on August 21.
"There will be a night protest, be ready Victoria," she told her followers on one platform.
"Maybe this is going to be the biggest protest Australia has ever seen, because what else are people going to do on a Saturday?" she posted.
Ms Bazzani noted that the second protest had been described as one of the most violent in two decades, resulting in 280 arrests, 236 fines, and six police officers hospitalised with injuries.
"The reality is that she is accused involving herself in some things that have far-reaching consequences for other people and also the community at large," she told defence lawyer Marcel White.
Smit appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court via videolink from behind a perspex screen in a cell at the Dandenong Police Station.
Mr White said his client was an activist who considered the enforcement of the chief health officer's directions to be illegal.
He said there was a risk of "jurisdictional creep" because she is facing charges punishable by fines, but any breach of bail conditions would potentially see her in jail.
"It's an unusual situation ... it's important there be great clarity on these bail conditions," he said.
The conditions included abiding by a curfew, not publishing or distributing material that would incite others to breach health directions, and editing online accounts to remove material inciting breaches.
The prosecution had not opposed bail provided strict conditions were imposed.
But when bail was granted, Smit indicated to her lawyer that she would refuse to sign the bail undertaking.
Mr White said Smit did not want to stay in police custody, but nor did she want to sign the bail papers.
She's facing five charges of breaching the chief health officer's orders, and inciting others to do so.
Smit will return to court in November.