National

Sydney students: Listen to us on climate

By AAP Newswire

Among the thousands of school students rallying in Sydney to demand action on climate change were three young men who had a personal message for the Australian prime minister.

Angus Henningham, Suvipra Vaidya and Jordan Whittaker - all 16 and in year 11 at Sydney Boys High School - attended the Strike 4 Climate Action on Friday.

The trio came bearing signs which stating "ScoMo get off smoko" and "ScoMo for a High boy you're not too bright".

The message from current students was targeted at Scott Morrison who's an "old boy" of their selective school in Sydney's Moore Park.

The idea behind the signs was to show "why we don't actually like to associate ourselves with him," Mr Vaidya told AAP.

The prime minister "doesn't acknowledge the fact that we're the ones that have to live in Australia for the next 20, 30, 40, 50 years", he said, adding: "We're the ones who have to grow old here."

The students said Mr Morrison didn't represent the values they believed Sydney Boys High School stood for.

"He needs to be starting to think more about how he can serve society as the prime minister, because that's ultimately his job - instead of how he can serve his investors," Mr Henningham said.

An estimated 30,000 school and university students, parents, staff and activists gathered in Sydney's Town Hall Square and marched to Hyde Park to demand action on climate change.

The school students - many wearing their uniforms - held signs with slogans such as "The climate is changing, why aren't we?" and "Make earth cool again".

University of NSW exchange students Xander De Vries and Florent Beurret, both 20, were at the protest.

"It's our time to rise up, we don't have a lot of time left, it's us who have to make a change so I thought it would be important to be here and show support to our generation," De Vries told AAP.

Mr Beurret said politicians making decisions at present were "old".

"They only think about short-term benefits," he told AAP.

Sydney's lunchtime demonstration was one of 50 simultaneous rallies held across Australia. Protests were planned in more than 90 countries.

The crowd was led in chants including "Hey hey, ho ho, Adani's mine has got to go."

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Friday doubled down on her criticism of students skipping school to attend the strike.

Young people had a right to protest but students should "confine your protest activity to outside school hours", she told reporters.

State opposition leader Michael Daley, on the other hand, supported the strike.

"Realise the importance of what you are doing today and thanks for sending a message up the tree to the grown-ups," the opposition leader said.