NEW Hope employees were paid and expected to protest state water legislation that threatens the expansion of the New Acland Mine, according to a leaked email.
The leaked document sent to employees by Managing Director Shane Stephan on October 26 revealed rostered workers were expected to head to Brisbane to protest the laws, which passed through the Queensland Parliament on Tuesday night.
Workers were asked to wear hi-vis workwear while at the Queensland Parliament on Tuesday, with the exception of landholders who were told to don Akubra hats and checked shirts.
"The decision has been taken by New Hope to operate New Acland Coal with a skeleton crew required to keep critical activities going," the email read.
"All other rostered employees...will be expected to attend the activity in Brisbane as a rostered day - i.e if you are rostered to be at work we will pay you to attend Brisbane...
"If you are a farmer please wear your check shirt and Akubra - everyone else is asked to wear their hi vis shirts."
The legislation now means all mines will have to apply for water licences again.
Darling Downs Environment Council spokesman Paul King accused New Hope of forcing their employees to engage in political action.
"These leaked emails reveal that New Hope has had to resort to effectively forcing its workers to attend a protest in Brisbane" he said.
"We thoroughly respect the workers and their right to protest in whatever way they choose, but we find it disingenuous for New Hope to make them do so."
New Hope Corporate Affairs Manager Libby Beath said the company stood by their actions.
"Everyone who marched on November 1 was happy to do so.
"We don't shy away from what we did and will do it again and again if we have to."
She said the workers were asked to dress in farmer's outfits to show how many of their employees were also landholders.
"More than 700 farmers, community and business people, landholders and miners choose to attend the rally and protest new laws which will destroy local jobs and devastate the local community," she said.
"We asked our employees who were farmers to wear farming clothes to show that many of our employees are farmers too and stand to lose their properties if they lose their jobs at Acland."