Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack says climate protests should be held on weekends when they are not disruptive to the community.
Thousands of people are gathering at rallies around the country on Friday, demanding an urgent escalation in climate change action, ahead of a United Nations summit in New York next week.
"I think these sorts of rallies should be held on a weekend where it doesn't actually disrupt business, it doesn't disrupt schools, it doesn't disrupt universities," Mr McCormack told reporters in Melbourne.
"I think it is just a disruption."
He said students would learn more at school than at a protest rally.
Mr McCormack said the government was taking action to cut emissions and boost the use of renewable energy.
Australian Associated Press