Illawarra parents have parked prams at the entry to Wollongong Coal's Russell Vale mine in a protest timed to coincide with an environmental "duty of care" appeal being thrashed out in the federal court.
The expansion of operations Russell Vale was the first coalmining project approved by environment minister Sussan Ley since May, when the federal court found she had a common law duty of care to protect children from future personal injury caused by climate change.
Monday's ''Pramenade of Care', organised by Extinction Rebellion Northern Illawarra, drew about 30 protesters.
Thirroul's Francis Vierboom, father to Bill, 3, and Eddie 1, said he attended out of concern for his children's futures.
"Minister Ley has accepted in court that a million Aussie kids will be hospitalised in their lifetimes by extreme weather that's caused by climate change," he said.
"But today she's fighting in court to say she shouldn't have to consider those kids.
"We've taken this action because we want our kids to grow up a little bit like we did, with stable weather and Christmas traditions that centre around eating prawns and sitting by the pool, instead of sitting around listening to the radio for bushfire evacuation warnings.
"That's what the science says is going to happen if we just keep going.
"We've got time to stop the effects of climate change."
At the outset of the three-day appeal hearing, Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue QC argued the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act was not predominantly about the interests of humans or the environment generally.
The Act was concerned with environmental issues that enlivened commonwealth powers, he argued, and should not be co-opted to serve the "collateral purpose" of establishing a duty of care.
Eight children took action against Ms Ley last year, challenging an expansion to the Vickery coal mine project in NSW. Argument in the appeal is expected to continue for two more days.
Monday's protest is the third to take aim at Russell Vale's operations in the past week.
Protesters at a recent action vowed their demonstration was "just the beginning" of a wave of future action.
- with AAP