A Melbourne teenager has been remanded in custody after facing the children’s court charged over an alleged terrorism plot.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested in a raid on his home in Melbourne’s northern suburbs on Friday.
He did not apply for bail and was ordered to return to court on May 26.
The boy was charged at the weekend with engaging in an act in preparation for, or planning a terrorist act.
Police will allege they found three improvised explosive devices at the boy’s home and that he planned to detonate them at an upcoming Melbourne event.
It is understood the boy had dropped out of school and had been posting rambling radical views on social media.
Members of the media made an application to the judge seeking to identify the boy.
“It is an unusual matter of the highest public interest,” lawyer Justin Quill said.
“It is a matter that should be reported in the fullest.”
He argued parents needed to know full details of the case so they could understand the case and be better informed about how to communicate with their children.
The application was refused.
“Identifying the boy is not going to be beneficial to his mental health and physical health in gaol,” the judge said.
He said there was no reason at this early stage of legal proceedings why this provision should not be complied with.
However the judge added there was “nothing to stop a further application coming before the court”.
The judge was also asked to allow the boy’s parents to visit him in custody.
He said that was ultimately a matter for the authorities, but stated: “It would be unfortunate if his family were not able to visit him.”
Community must remain alert: police
Earlier, Victoria Police reassured the public there was no imminent threat to the state.
“People should be assured that Victoria Police, working closely with the Australian Federal Police and other agencies, are doing their very best to keep Victorians safe, and that’s what we’ve done thus far,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Robert Hill said.
However, Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright said it was important the community remained alert.
“If you do see anything suspicious, if you see young people taking an unusual interest in what would normally be household devices, electrical batteries, chemicals, then you need to be concerned,” he said.
“You need to tell us, you need to ring the terrorist hotline [1800-123-400], you need to ring triple-0 or Crime Stoppers.”
Mr Cartwright said the teenager could face an adult court.
“He will be before the children’s court initially,” he said.
“There are, I believe within the legislation, opportunities for him to be put before more senior courts, but that’s not a matter for me.
“That’s a matter for OPP (the Office of Public Prosecutions) and the courts to make a decision on.”
During Friday’s raid, heavily armoured vehicles blocked off a street while balaclava-clad officers armed with assault rifles stood guard at the accused teen’s two-storey home.
Police said there were no links to last month’s raids in Melbourne’s south-east, where two teens were charged in an alleged Anzac Day terror plot.